In honor of the Christmas Season, I thought I would share this photo as it seems to describe how I feel about Christmas more than anything else associated with the holiday.
We remember the Savior of the world who came to Earth. He lived and died for us. Through the Atonement we find ourselves resurrected. For those who are willing, we find ourselves back into the presence of God forever. It is this time of year we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Celebration in my mind of something so sacred and holy seems to conjure images of reverence and quiet joy rather than exultation that rattles the stars. It seems the humble words of Holiness to the Lord written on the life of an individual are more appropriate than what our traditions might have become in our nation. These words written on the life of a soul seem to portray themselves at this time of the year in smiles and service springing from wells of everlasting life within the breast.
In Old Testament times, writing Holiness to the Lord on something indicated the item was set apart from the world, it was for some solemn trust before the Lord (see Exodus 28:36, 39:30). My love of God and of his noble Son, seem to require a reverence and deep-abiding love for others and their lives. Which would require the true meaning of Christmas to be in service of one another, especially our family, friends, and those in need. This seems to be what Christmas is about. We share gifts for their needs, enjoy food and time, and set aside our family. We declare our most precious gifts of time, love, and family as Holiness to the Lord.
The temple represents worship of God and family. It is there we look to the gifts of the Atonement for the physical and spiritual manifestations in our daily living.
It seems fitting that written on the door, here in monograph, we should find the phrase Holiness to the Lord. We do not write Holiness to the Lord on objects or buildings to hope God will descend to touch them and make them his. We write it to ascribe to whom the object or building already belongs. This is a matter of perspective.
Hence, if we hope God will reach out and touch our lives, we are not in tune. It is when we look up in gratitude that God has touched our lives, that we find the joy of the season. If we hope our gift will be touched by God, we have missed the point. It is in the giving of the gift that we seek to emulate God, and we find the words Holiness to the Lord written all over the item.
Christmas is when we take a moment to again realize that Holiness to the Lord is written all over our lives and world. That we seek to give something back in return. Not to another person, even though they may receive the gift, but to God in whose name all things really already have written, “Holiness to the Lord.” Thanks be to God and his Son this time of year.