What shall we give?

                                           What shall we give to the babe in the manger,
What shall we offer the child in the stall?

Incense and spices and gold we've got plenty-
Are these the gifts for the king of us all?

                                               What shall we give to the boy in the temple,
What shall we offer the man by the sea?

Palms at his feet and hosannas uprising;
Are these for him who will carry the tree?

                                            What shall we give to the lamb who was offered,
Rising the third day and shedding his love?

Tears for his mercy we'll weep at the manger,
Bathing the infant come down from above.*

"What Shall We Give" has become my favorite Christmas song this year. The harmonies, the instrumentals--above all, the lyrics--speak right to my heart. (There is a free download of the song at the end of this video.)

The song fits perfectly with my favorite Family Home Evening of the season. It's one that I repeat every December and it never fails to get me in the right spirit.

The message is simple: we all have something to give, and we can all give something we have. The world may tell us it's not good enough. The voices in our head might do the same. But what are we waiting for if not to give of the talents and passions God gave us? To bless one another on this mortal journey, to make things a little bit easier--a little bit brighter--for our brother?

Jesus Christ suffered and died for us--an excruciating sacrifice made out of love. But did he not daily perform small acts of service? Smiling at a stranger, helping a neighbor carry a load, laughing with a child? I see my Savior doing all of these things. I hear Him calling me to do the same.

I cannot be the Savior. I cannot perform an ultimate sacrifice. But I can smile at a stranger and love a child. I can listen to a friend and I can help a neighbor with their load.

This, then, is my gift. I hope it can be all of ours.

What Shall We Give

Song: The Friendly Beasts--a medieval French carol about the animals of the nativity and their gifts to the newborn Christ.  (video/ sheet music with lyrics)

Scripture: Mosiah 2:17 "…..when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God"

Story: The Clown of God--a French legend of a juggler's offering to the Christ child. Keep a tissue handy. (If you don't have access to the book, here's a video that follows the text closely.)

Challenge: Book of Gifts--I made these simple paper books for my family to record their daily gifts to Jesus. On Christmas Eve we're going to throw the books on our fire and send the gifts to heaven. I don't really believe that our deeds rise with the smoke, but I love a good symbol. Christmas is rife with symbols and I don't mind adding another. Really, though, there are a million traditions much like this--adding straw to a manger, filling a stocking for Jesus, etc.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

*lyrics courtesy of A Care In The World