First of all, I'd like to wish you a very happy Christmas.
Second, in keeping with the theme of the blog, I have a few questions that I think are particularly important to consider, on this day above all days. The answers are yours to reflect on - mine are irrelevant to you, so will not be shared later.
And third, I'd like to share a Christmas tradition I have started which I've really found value in.
I know that Christ was born in the spring, around the time that the shepherds of the temple flock who were getting ready to provide lambs for the Passover, were abiding in the fields at night. But I have also learned that the Winter Solstice points to the birth of the Savior. (https://gramaryeblog.blogspot.com/search?q=solstice)
So, this time of year, it truly is important to reflect on the babe wrapped in saddling clothes lying in a manger of hay (and not just because the rest of the Christian world has chosen to celebrate His birth now). Jesus Christ IS the god who condescended to come to this dark world to work out our salvation with fear and trembling and save us.
Questions That Need Answering:
What think ye of Christ?
Since the Lord has "graven thee upon the palms of (His) hands", what does He think of you?
Have you spiritually been born of God? Have you received His image in your countenance? Have you experienced the Mighty Change in your heart? Have you awakened?
If you have experienced a mighty change of heart - have been baptized by fire - and have felt that song of redeeming love within you, can you feel so now? Have you abided true to the covenant you made? Have you stayed on the path or strayed and are wondering lost in strange roads? Have you arisen?
Are you filled with charity, the pure love of Christ? Signs follow those who believe, so how do you know you are filled with His love and light? If you have awakened and arisen, are you following His Way?
Have you come unto Christ? Do you truly know Him in the flesh? If not, what has He told you is your next step? Are you doing it? If you have, what has He told you is your next step? Are you doing it? Have you partaken of the Fruit of the Tree which is most precious?
And His Name Shall Be Called:
Years ago I received a gift at a Christmas party: a set of handmade ornaments each with a different name or title for Christ written on it; there were maybe 30 of them. I bought a small, pre-lighted Christmas tree for the ornaments - to keep them separate from the family Christmas tree. It soon became my favorite Christmas tradition - some time in the evening after we'd decorated the house and the kids were either in bed or, when teenagers, out with their friends, I would decorate "my tree." I'd reflect on each name or title as I'd put the ornament on the tree: "Wonderful Counsellor", "Bread of Life", "Immanuel", "Prince of Peace," etc. Over time I started wishing I had a few more ornaments - there was no "Lion of Judah" to contrast with "Lamb of God", no "Suffering Servant" to go with "The Mighty God", no "Shiloh" or "Yahweh". I am not an artisan but part of what I love about these ornaments is how simple and homemade they look - a rectangular piece of painted wood with a name in a beautiful script and a length of waxed string to hang it on the tree with. I decided to try to make a few more - and a "few" became 30 as I thought about the names and titles for Christ which mean the most to me. I also thought about some of the scriptures in which these names are used - so lately, what I've done is decorated my tree with my scriptures in hand, taking the time to remember Him through His names - and worship Him as I reflect on the great things He has done for me and how much I love Him for it.
In case you'd like to do something similar, I've included the names and scriptures I use and a couple of examples of what the ornaments look like (I created my versions in PowerPoint and used a craft adhesive to attach them to 2x1 inch pieces of painted wood) - but, as in all things "Gramarye", the true value is to share an idea which might inspire you to create something that helps you to worship and come unto Christ yourself:
Wonderful Counsellor – incomprehensible & wise advisor (Isaiah 9:6)
The Mighty God – El Gibbor, the God of Strength (Isaiah 9:6)
The Very Eternal Father – Father of this physical creation & the Father of our spiritual rebirth (Alma 11:38-39; Mosiah 15:1-5)
Prince of Peace – Prince of shalom or the spiritual harmony and calm brought about by an individual’s restoration with God. (Isaiah 9:6)
Jesus Christ – God Saves - the Anointed One (3 Nephi 11:8-11)
Son of God – mortal man begotten by God (Mosiah 15:2-3)
The Messiah – Anointed One (Isaiah 61:1)
Anointed One – consecrated or made sacred in a ceremony with oil (Acts 4:27-30)
Savior – one who brings salvation, specifically from sin (Matthew 1:21)
Deliverer – one who rescues another from harm or danger (1 Sam 17:37)
Redeemer of the World – to free from captivity by payment of ransom (Alma 11:40)
King of Kings – the high king who rules over lesser kings (1 Timothy 6:15)
Lord of Lords – the God who rules over lesser gods (Deut 10:17)
Lord of All – ruler or master of all things (Zechariah 6:5)
The Good Shepherd – lays down his life for his sheep (John 10:11-15)
The Lamb of God – gentle, pure and innocent, yet sacrificed (John 1:29)
Beloved Son – one who the father feels great affection for (Matthew 17:5)
Only Begotten – actually fathered in the flesh (Moses 5:57)
Little Lord Jesus – Jesus was divine as a newborn (Luke 2:6-14)
Carpenter’s Son – derogatory phrase used in Nazareth by the priests to humanize Jesus (Matthew 13:55)
YHWH – Yahweh, name of the God of Israel; the tetragrammaton (Genesis 2:4)
Jehovah – English version of Yahweh, the name of God (2 Nephi 22:2)
Adonai – My Lord; substitute for the sacred name YHWH (Genesis 2:4)
Creator – the organizer and maintainer of the world (Mosiah 2:20-21)
Holy One – one who is consecrated to God and sanctified (3 Nephi 22:5)
El Shaddai – God Almighty (1 Nephi 1:14)
God of Israel – the god of those who covenant with Him (3 Nephi 11:14)
King of the Jews – the rightful ruler of Israel (Matthew 2:2)
Lion of Judah – authority & strength of the ruling tribe (Revelation 5:5)
The Son of David – son or descendent of the King, David (Rev 22:16)
Light of the World – source of the light which fills the universe (D&C 88:12)
Life of the World – His resurrection saves us from death (2 Ne 9:10)
Bread of Life – He provides spiritual nourishment & stops hunger (John 6:35)
Fountain of Living Water – source of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39)
Fisher of Men – He catches the fish (souls) in His gospel net (Matt 4:19)
Walker in the Path – Companion & example in walking back to God (Luke 24)
The Way – The prototype of the saved being (LoF 7:9; John 14:6)
Keeper of the Gate – There is no other way to God (2 Ne 9:41)
The Suffering Servant – God’s servant suffered for us (Mosiah 14:3-11)
Immanuel – God with us; condescension to earth (Isaiah 7:14; 1 Ne 11:26-28)
I Am – Jehovah; He that exists – that is self-existent (Exodus 3:14-15)
Alpha – the first; the beginning (D&C 84:120)
Omega – the last; the end (2 Ne 31:20; 2 Ne 32:4-7)
Logos, the Word – the reason or plan implicit in the cosmos (John 1:1-14)
Yeshua – Joshua or Jesus; to rescue or deliver (Matthew 1:21)
Jesus of Nazareth – from small village in backwater Galilee (John 1:45-46)
The Son of Man – son of a human (Mary); son of the Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57)
The Bridegroom – husband to Israel via intimate covenant (Matt 22:2-14)
Chief Cornerstone – ensures the stability of all salvation (Isaiah 28:16)
Rock – prime element of an ancient foundation (2 Ne 4:30,35; Jacob 4:15-16)
The Branch – from the royal line of David (Zechariah 6:12; Isaiah 11:1)
The True Vine – living plant that will save those grafted in (John 15:1-16)
Bright & Morning Star – outshines others; point of reference; Venus whose orbit makes a five-pointed star symbolic of Christ (Rev 22:16)
Rabboni – master teacher; spiritual instructor; enlightened guru (John 20:16)
Exemplar – example in all things; prototype of salvation (LoF7:9)
Great Physician – physician who heals via His own sacrifice (John 5:2-9)
Comforter – to tenderly console; to give hope in darkness (John 14:15-21)
Advocate & Intercessor – one who speaks or mediates on behalf of another (D&C 45:3-5; 2 Ne 2:9; 1 Samuel 25:18-24)
Master – ruler, lord, owner of servants (John 13:13-16)
Shiloh – he to whom it belongs or he whose right it is; the glorious Messiah who at His coming will dry every tear and right every wrong (Genesis 49:10)