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Music and the Spoken Word: The gift of love at Christmas

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The three wise men continue their search for the Christ child, as depicted in the Bible Videos series.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Music and the Spoken Word: The gift of love at Christmas

2771205.jpg

The three wise men continue their search for the Christ child, as depicted in the Bible Videos series.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given Dec. 8, 2019.

Sometime after the birth of the Christ child on that first Christmas Day, the baby and His parents were visited by Wise Men from the East. They came to honor the sacred occasion with loving gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh. Their kind offering gave rise to a tradition that now seems inseparable from the Christmas season: giving gifts to those we love.

Stories about gifts of love were later associated with Saint Nicholas and others, whose charitable giving became legendary and served to reinforce the importance of sharing with those around us. In such giving, it isn’t just the gift that is valuable; it’s the love behind it. The distance the Wise Men traveled and their love for the newborn king were part of the gift! Indeed, the true spirit of holiday giving is the spirit of love and of sacrifice for others.

One young man loves Christmas not because of what he receives but rather because of the delight he finds in giving special gifts to people he loves. He plans his gift-giving for months, deciding on just the right gift for each person on his list. He can’t afford to buy anything expensive or elaborate, but he can afford to give his heart, to think about what would bring joy to the one whose name is carefully written on the tag placed on each gift. Sometimes, when he thinks it would mean the most, the young man gives gifts of his own time and effort, such as a promise to shine shoes, wash a car or do some other personal service. Not surprisingly, these are the gifts that both he and the recipient usually cherish the most and remember the longest.

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This is a lesson that we learn again every Christmas — that it’s the love and sacrifice behind the gift that make it truly meaningful. Often the most valued gifts are given by those in need themselves. That’s part of the magic of Christmas: you don’t have to be rich to give gifts that come from a richness of love.

It’s been said that not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love. The true spirit of Christmas shines through when even small gifts are given with great love.

Tuning in …

The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, ksl.com, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoiratTempleSquare and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.org/schedules.

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