Never was the birth of a child heralded with such jubilation! To the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks that holy night in the fields near Bethlehem, the angel of the Lord proclaimed the glad message of Jesus’ birth:
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10–16.)
Now, nearly two thousand years later, as we celebrate that wondrous occasion and reread that ever-new story of Jesus’ humble birth, we can’t help but be excited and happy about our good fortune. For it is a story about giving and sacrificing for others. What a splendid example of giving for all of us is Heavenly Father’s gift of His Only Begotten Son, whose subsequent willing sacrifice of His own life opened the way so that all who have ever lived or who will live will be resurrected and will have the opportunity to live again with our Eternal Father in Heaven!
It is the appreciation of that simple yet miraculous story that touches our hearts, especially at Christmastime, when we enter into the spirit of giving and receiving. By showing love and gratitude toward one another, we emulate our Savior’s greatest attribute. And the peace foretold by the heavenly host at Christ’s birth can be ours throughout the year if we but live righteously, even when the world about us sometimes seems uncaring or as though it has gone astray.
At this joyous time of the year, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, it is our hope that children throughout the world will think often about the Savior. We send to you our blessings and want you to know of our abiding love for you.