Monday, December 22, 2008

A New 2008 Christmas Tradition

by Joyce DiPastena

Last year, while browsing through the December 2007 Ensign, I ran across a Random Sampler suggestion for the Christmas season. By the time I read it, I was already too late into the month to give it a try, but I remembered the idea all year long, and have been following it this year since December 1st. The suggestion was to read one chapter from the book of Luke in the New Testament every day for the month of December. Why? Because the book of Luke has 24 chapters…thus, you will begin with the birth of John the Baptist, followed by the story of the Savior’s birth, read about his life, miracles, compassion, teaching, and love, and end on Christmas Eve with the glorious story of his resurrection. What a wonderful way to remind yourself every day of what Christmas is all about!

As I have accepted this scripture reading challenge this month, I cannot say that all my levels of Christmas stress have been eliminated, or even necessarily significantly reduced. I cannot even say that by the time I get to bed, I can still remember everything I read in the scriptures that morning. But I can say that for those few, precious minutes each morning, I have found contentment and peace in a few quiet moments of reading and reflecting on the life of the Savior. And just to make the time an extra treat, I bought one of those chocolate advent calendars and eat that day’s piece of chocolate to match up with the chapter I’m reading that day in Luke. (Luke 18 equals Day 18’s piece of chocolate from the advent calendar, for example.)

The experience has been sweet enough, both spiritually and chocolate-wise, that I hope to make this a regular December tradition from now on!

6 comments:

  1. Ok it's too late for me this year as well, but next year, I'll give it a go. Thanks for passing on a wonderful spiritual gift.

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  2. I was going to say the same thing...too late for this year, but I'll save it up for next. Maybe we could even read as a family. What a great idea!

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  3. What a wonderful idea, Joyce. I am going to do that next year. This year we were given a similar type of advent idea..only we read about a character trait of the Savior and try hard to emulate that trait each day. There is even a hymn to sing each morning to reinforce the thought. Merry Christmas, Joyce!

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  4. I think your advent challenge this month was much more difficult than mine, Kari, but it sounds like a wonderfully inspiring challenge!

    Merry Christmas to you, and all our ANWA sisters, too!

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  5. Love the blog and the idea. Who says it's too late for this year? Maybe it's extra special in December, but how about reading it the twenty-four days before Easter? Okay, can't match the chapter with the date. But the thoughts are good any old time. When I read scriptures daily (and I sure wish I could truthfully say I do with regularity) it's amazing what it does for me. Ideas pop up, work goes more smoothly, I get more done.

    But what you prooposed that I really like is the chocolate advent calendar. I haven't seen one. Now that would be really comforting -- but as with most things, I'm not sure I could limit myself to one bite of chocolate a day, or even remembering every day.

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  6. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing it. Looks like writing your blog in advance and altering the date worked just fine for you!!
    Merry Christmas.

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