As the month of December begins, we are brought back to thoughts of love, peace, and hope. All things that describe someone who has the Christmas spirit. But do you know truly what the Christmas spirit is? I read a quote this week that beautifully summed up how we should live our lives every day, and the month of December seems to be a pretty good place to start. “True love is a reflection of the Savior’s love. In December of each year, we call it the Christmas spirit.” Thomas S. Monson
If someone was describing my personality to a stranger, I would hope they would call me a reflection of love. What a beautiful thought. When we are fully immersed in Christ’s love, it shines out of us. People around us know that there is something special about us. Our entire life should be a mirror image of Christ.
It is easy to feel that way in December. The entire world seems to turn into a softer place. Peace, love, and hope abound. It just seems easier this time of year to focus on these things. Imagine a world where the Christmas spirit, the reflection of Christ’s love, reigns in our lives for the entirety of the year. Let’s make a promise that at the end of the year, we begin to live our lives as a mirror of Christ.
Most of the time when you begin something new, you start at the very beginning. But with the Christmas spirit, the end seems like a good place to begin. Maybe we should start a new tradition that instead of having New Year’s resolutions, we have December beginnings.
My birthday is December 30, the next to the last day of the year, so December for me starts my new year. Since we spent most of this year discussing 1 Corinthians 13, and the importance of love, it truly seems fitting to end the year making sure we are reflecting that love to others around us. 1 John 4:21 says it beautifully, “This commandment we have from him: Those who claim to love God ought to love their brother and sister also.”
You may be the only version of God that the people around you see. How do you want the people in your world to see God? Don’t you want them to see and feel God’s love? Being able to love others around you the way that God loves you, allows them to know God. “No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us.” 1 John 4:12
We ended our study on love in 1 Corinthians 13 and the first part of verse 8, “Love never fails.” The very last verse of the chapter ends like this, “And these three remain: Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Love in our lives is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others. By allowing that love to flow out of us and to others, they can truly come to know God. What a wonderful way to lead others to the gospel of Christ, by love.
So as the year ends, I urge you to let your new year begin. Begin in the season of hope, peace, and love. Let that love, the Christmas spirit, you feel carry on throughout the entire year. Let the love of Christ reflect as a mirror to all those around you.
This week’s recipe is actually a gift. You can keep this delicious granola to eat for yourself or pack it in cute little Christmas jars to give to friends and family as a wonderful, handmade Christmas gift. A gift that is filled with love. Feel free to change up the spices, nuts, and sweetener to make this sweet Christmas gift one that truly reflects you and your family.
“‘Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Matthew 22:36-39