December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

We are breaking from tradition this year with our family Christmas Card. Instead of using normal mail as we would have liked to, we're using our blog to deliver our Christmas greetings to you that somehow stumble onto this link. Sorry about that. Perhaps next year we'll be back to the more traditional method. If you're interested in what we've been up to during 2009, feel free to browse through the blog posts from this year in the Archives section on the left of this page. You'll see broken bones, fun recipes, talented kids and the like. Most of the major events of this year have been chronicled here.

Our family has much to be grateful for this year and we love this season that gives us pause to reflect on our many blessings. At this wonderful time of the year we remember the Savior’s mercy and his love. We think of the babe in the manger and marvel at His humble beginnings. (See Luke 2) We think of the life ahead of Him. How grateful we are. There is one element of His birth, not frequently spoken of, that leads our family to great admiration and awe - the condescension of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ, a God, voluntarily left his home above to be born on this earth. You can sense that amazement in the words of Abinadi. “I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men.” (Mosiah 15:1, Italics added)

Tad R. Callister explains “Jesus of Nazareth was no mere mortal. Yet, He made an unusual transition on that first Christmas—he was transformed from God to newborn child. How wondrous it is to truly understand what was packaged in that tiny body held by mother Mary? ... Speaking of Abraham Lincoln, someone once said that when God wants to change the world, He does it with the birth of a newborn child. Nothing could be more true of the birth of the Savior as God himself took upon himself a tabernacle of flesh. Oh, the magnitude of that sacrifice, that condescension! That night, God the Son traded his heavenly home with all its celestial adornments for a mortal abode with all its primitive trappings. He, the King of heaven (Alma 5:50), the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth (Mosiah 3:5), left a throne to inherit a manger. He exchanged the dominion of a god for the dependence of a babe. He gave up wealth, power, dominion, and the fullness of his glory—for what?—for taunting, mocking, humiliation, and subjection. It was a trade of unparalleled dimension, a condescension of incredible proportions, a descent of incalculable depth. And so, the great Jehovah, creator of worlds without number, infinite in virtue and power, made his entry into this world in swaddling clothes and a manger.” (The Infinite Atonement, p. 64)

This Christmas, perhaps more than ever, we are appreciative of the Savior’s birth. When we look at the nativity scene, instead of seeing just a babe lying in a manger with an amazing life ahead of Him, we also see a babe who was already a God, who left His home on high for you and for me to provide us a way back to that same home. We love that infant child with all our hearts and testify that it is through Him that we can be healed, made whole and saved.

We sincerely hope that you and your families have a wonderful Christmas and a joyous new year. We are appreciate of our association with you and pray that it may continue for many years to come.

With love,

Ro, Jeni, Maddy and Joey Shearer