Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas package and the Nativity

Hi guys!!! I am so happy my package made it safely home :) I just threw a bunch of stuff I couldn't pack in there last second - did you like the Christmas video? Please send me pictures of the hounds on those blankets, I guess they can be for Lily and Vito. Wow, I am impressed Henry wore the T-shirt, that is rare that makes me happy. Before we left to email today I got your treat package and was jumping around like a sister missionary. Thank you! You spoil me mom ;) Who did the Aggies play in the Bowl game?

I will probably call you guys and then you call back real quick or something, just like Mothers' day. Training is really fun, my son is from Draper, Utah. He is 22 years old and not very green because he's lived on his own  He is a techy and really smart with technology, he built his own computer back home. So far so good. Sometimes I catch myself like "wow, I'm getting near 1/2 way of my mission." It is bitter-sweet. My absolute greatest fear is to return home the same as I left. So everyday of these two years is absolutely crucial to me.

I absolutely love the Nativity and would like to touch on that a little bit again, after studying it some more I never really took much thought as to the character of Joseph and Mary (I think sometimes we just read the Nativity story and think "Oh that was cute, time to forget it until next year") but my goodness, after Joseph found out Mary was pregnant she would have faced stoning if he accused her of adultery, or if he chose to accept the child as his own he would be looked at as a commandment breaker (because once you were betrothed you were supposed to wait a year to start a family so he would have broken that if he claimed the child) For him to claim the child as his own was very courageous and both him and Mary were very obedient to the angels visitations. They were also very strong. The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem is not easy, it is about a 100 mile journey, and remember Mary was "Great with child..." Those Hebrew women were tough I tell ya. And then she had the child in a stable! And then to flee to Egypt from Bethlehem? I looked on my Bible map and it looks to be like a 200+ journey! Incredible!
Now after a year or so the wise men showed up after following the star in the East and gave the child three gifts that are of great importance. Gold: because gold is for kings and Christ is the King of Kings, Frankincense: Incense used during sacrificial purposes by the priests fitting because Christ was the ultimate sacrifice and the Priest of priests, and Mrryh: used for embalming and anointing the dead, fit for the small child that would meet his fate upon the cross and be put in a tomb. Let us ponder the Nativity and really think about all the small things that occur at it. Examples:
Why were shepherds told?
Who was Herod? His background?
What would Mary's parents have thought to find out she was pregnant and Joseph wasn't the father? or the people of Nazareth?
What was the journey like from Nazareth to Bethlehem?
How did they have kids back then? What were the complications with birth?
What is the significance of swaddling clothes? or a manger?
Anyways I love to study the scriptures and understand why events happened the way they did.
have a wonderful week!
Elder Blackburn


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