“You can’t separate Bethlehem from Gethsemane or the hasty flight into Egypt from the slow journey to the summit of Calvary. It’s of one piece. It is a single plan. It considers ‘the fall and rising again of many in Israel,’ but always in that order.”

“Christmas is joyful not because it is a season or decade or lifetime without pain and privation, but precisely because life does hold those moments for us. And that baby, […the] Only Begotten Son in the flesh, born ‘away in a manger, [with] no crib for his bed,’ makes all the difference in the world, all the difference in time and eternity, all the difference everywhere, worlds without number, a lot farther than your eye can see.”

“Perhaps the joy [my parents] felt that day at my birth was to be inextricably, inseparably, eternally linked with my sorrow at their passing—that we could never expect to have the one without the other.”

“In this life no one can have real love without eventually dealing with real loss, and we certainly can’t rejoice over one’s birth and the joy of living unless we are prepared to understand and accommodate and accept with some grace the inevitability—including the untimeliness—of difficulty and trouble and death. These are God’s gifts to us—birth and life and death and salvation, the whole divine experience in all its richness and complexity.”

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). True fathers and mothers were all alike, I realized; coming up with the best gifts imaginable at what is often terrible personal cost—and I am obviously not speaking of material gifts or monetary costs.”

“I got a little refresher course in the plan of salvation and a powerful reminder of why this is “the season to be jolly,” and why any Christmas is a time of comfort, whatever our circumstances may be. In the same breath I was also reminded that life will not always be as cozy as “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” or an unending splendor while we stroll, “walking in a winter wonderland.” No, life will have its valleys and peaks, its moments for the fall and rising in the lives of all of God’s children. So now it is old Simeon’s joyful embrace of that little baby just before his own death that is one of the images I try to remember at Christmas.”

– Jeffrey R. Holland

2 Responses

  1. jamie

    Thank you Ann,

    Merry Christmas, and know that he knows us all by name~ <3

    December 10, 2017 at 5:10 pm

  2. Jess

    I have loved every second of that Holland. All of this is the same stuff I have repeated to myself over and over as the heaviness of life set in this past week. I love you. Merry Christmas.

    December 13, 2017 at 10:59 pm

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