“In the Bleak Midwinter”

nativityThis year in the BYU Choirs’ Celebration of Christmas concert, the Concert Choir is singing a setting of the poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Christina Rossetti.

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan.

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.

Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow.

In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;

Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.

In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,

A breast full of milk, and a manger full of hay;

Enough for Him, whom angels fall down before,

The ox and ass and camel, which adore.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;

If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;

Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

I love this poem but especially the last stanza.  We give a lot of gifts at Christmas time but I think we often forget Christ in all of our gift giving.  We really have very little to give Christ that he doesn’t already have. We owe to him our lives, our agency, and our eternal salvation; however, as this poem teaches, we can give him the one thing that we have to give: our heart. May we all find a way to give Christ our hearts during this busy holiday season.

Rejoice Exceedingly and Give Thanks

TurkeyDinner-thanksgivingToday is thanksgiving and I felt like I should depart from my typical political posts and talk about some of the things that I am grateful for.  First and foremost I am grateful that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have that I am a child of God and that because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ I can repent and return to live with God.  I’m grateful for the prophet Joseph Smith and for his courage and example.  I’m grateful for the restoration of the gospel through him and for the added knowledge this brings to my life about my purpose on this earth and about the importance of family.

I am grateful for my family, for the love and friendship that we have and for the little troubles we have that keep life interesting!  I’m grateful for my awesome friends and roommates and for the support they give to me.  I am surrounded by some of the best people in the world and their examples are a great blessing in my life.

I’m grateful to be getting an education.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have an education. I think its often easy to take education for granted because it is so readily available to all of us.  I’m grateful to know how to read and write.  I’m also grateful that I’ve been blessed to have a good mind so that I can understand and reason about interesting things.

I’m grateful also to be a citizen of this great country.  I know that I often talk about the things that we do wrong but it is a great blessing to live in a country where we have the freedom to speak our minds.  I’m grateful for the freedom to worship the way that I want and the freedom to pursue my goals in life. I’m grateful for the heroes and patriots that founded America and for those that continue to defend her today.  I am grateful for their examples of unselfish service and sacrifice for freedom.

I hope that today, as we eat dinners and spend time with family, that we will all reflect on the many, many blessings that we have.  What are you thankful for?