View the article on Book of Mormon Central.
More than two thousand years ago, angels appeared to startled shepherds to announce the birth of the Son of God. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10; emphasis added). At this season, when we celebrate that event it is good to reflect on why the birth of the Son of God is still a reason for us to rejoice.
God Loves Us
We rejoice because the birth of Jesus is a sign of the love of God for all of His children. How wonderful that the Creator of heaven and earth would willingly come down to take upon Himself a mortal body! He willingly subjected Himself to the difficulties of our condition because He loved us. The prophet Isaiah foresaw that He would be “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Alma, an ancient American prophet, taught that the Son of God would “take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:12). He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Having experienced what we experience in our own lives, He is able to understand how to help us.
Jesus is our Redeemer
We rejoice because Jesus is our Redeemer. The prophet Lehi learned that the Lord’s “power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish” (1 Nephi 1:14). Each of us can come to Jesus, who suffered for our sins and made it possible for us to repent and change.
The birth of Jesus reminds us that all may be “born of God” and become new creatures through the power of Christ. Jesus willingly suffered for our sins and made it possible for us to become new and whole. No matter what we may have done, if we trust in Him and repent of our sins we can be “born of God.” All may be “changed from their carnal and fallen state to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters” (Mosiah 27:25). His power can heal the wounds inflicted by our own sins and the harm caused by others. The healing power of Christ not only forgives but can also make us whole.
God is still a God of Miracles
The miraculous birth of Jesus and the miracles He performed throughout His life showed His love for those around Him, especially for those in need. Today, we can rejoice in knowing that Jesus yet lives and that His work is not done. He is still a God of miracles, and He works to bless and relieve the suffering of others, both directly and also through the efforts of those who seek to serve Him. Christmas reminds us that we should always seek to follow His example by comforting and ministering to those in need, and by sharing what we can with others. Unselfish service brings joy to the heart. Selfless service enlarges the soul.
Jesus Redeemed us from Death
Finally, we rejoice because through Christ, there will be an end to death. Jesus died for us and rose from the dead. “And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men” (Mosiah 3:10). He brought about the resurrection of all who have died and will yet die. The knowledge that our bodies after they die will one day be restored to their perfect form should bring gratitude to our hearts. We can also rejoice because our friend and Savior will be our judge and will judge us righteously. He will bless and reward those who seek to serve and follow Him. The glad tidings which angels declared of old still echo today and bring happiness and peace to all who are willing to seek and follow our Heavenly King.