12.21.2014

Christ, the Savior, is Born



While reading and pondering more deeply the Christmas story in Luke chapter 2, I was struck by a phrase.  It's something we've all read again and again, but this time I  read it a bit differently. 

"And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered (Luke 2:6)." 

Usually, when referring to the birth of a baby we would say, "the baby was delivered" or "she delivered a healthy baby boy."  I can't help but see the added meaning in the wording of this phrase, "she should be delivered." 

Not only was Mary to deliver the baby to the world, she was to be delivered from both physically and spiritually through the birth of her son, her Savior, her Messiah (or Deliverer).  Mary truly was "a precious and a chosen vessel" (Alma 7:10) who carried the Son of God.   Her newborn child was her deliverer and the deliverer of the world!

The scriptures are full of deliverance stories.  Abraham and his son Isaac, Moses and the Israelites, Lehi and his family, and on and on.  There is no question that the world is a darkening place (D&C 84:49), but a promise has been made: 

Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.  -- 2 Nephi 3:5 --

 Elder L. Tom Perry has stated, "We can be delivered from the ways of evil and wideness by turning to the teachings of the holy scriptures.  The savior is the Great Deliverer, for He delivers us form death and from sin."

The Lord keeps His promises.  He cannot lie!  

He has promised, "I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage (Mosiah 24:13)."

He has promised, "I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wing... (D&C 10:65)."

He has promised, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28)."

Do we believe His promises?  Like the Shepherds, we can be the first to "now go" (Luke 2:15) and adore Him on bended knee.  We can be delivered from darkness into His rest if we would but believe on His words and follow His ways. This would be our best Christmas gift to Him this year, for He has said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15)."  

 - - - 

"Behold your God, born as a little child in Bethlehem and wrapped in swaddling clothes.  Behold your God, born in poverty and simplicity that He might walk among common people as a common man.  Behold your God, even the infinite and eternal Redeemer, the Messiah, veiled in flesh and come to live upon the very earth that He created."  --Elder Bruce D. Porter --

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