Sam (pictured above) is the caboose that makes our house seem like it’s full of children even though he is the last one living at home, he’s enjoying lacrosse and cello. Hailey is studying speech pathology at Brigham Young University; Julianne is doing movies and music; Derek has been making music and dancing and has some other entertainment options coming up; Ainsley and Terence with little Evelyn (now a year old) are living and working in New Orleans; Katherine is getting married January 3rd to Tony Phillips, a Nashville musician; Marabeth, Michael and Aidan are in Nashville, running day spas and writing music and chasing Aidan; Riley, DeDe, Griffin and Max are in Bountiful, UT and doing great (we love having grandkids nearby!); Blake and Shante’ spent 8 months in Israel and are now back in Lehi, Ut; and Sharee, Randall, Paris, Willow, Skye, Star, and Bronson moved this year from Coeur d’Alene, ID to Ogden, UT (did I mention that we love having grandkids nearby!!).
Notwithstanding Santa, also pictured above, and all he represents with the spirit of giving, I have had some thoughts about the season I’d like to share with you.
One of the fundamental things about Christmas that seems to get lost in all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday is what the birth of the Savior of the World really means. We rightfully focus on the nativity, which is of course not only one of the great stories of all time but one of the greatest events of all time. But it is only the “beginning” of why we should celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Even the life of Christ, he who lived perfectly as no mortal man could; and who healed the sick and raised the dead and performed many miracles; and taught the multitude the two great commandments: to love God and to love our neighbor, is only part of how we should remember this season. Even his physical death and resurrection, which guarantees all mankind immortality, should not finish our thoughts of Christ in this season.
At this time of year, it seems most fitting to remember the greatest gift Christ gives us, the gift of renewal, the gift of forgiveness, the gift of a redeeming love that allows us, as we repent, to start anew, fresh and clean as the new fallen snow, that many of us enjoy this time of year. Because it is the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that allows us to begin again, to strive to do better, and to know that Christ himself will make up the difference to justify us before God. His Grace and His Mercy Saves Us and Redeems Us.
When we begin a New Year, it seems most appropriate to acknowledge Jesus Christ as He, through his mercy and grace, allows us to begin again, to live the life he would have us live, knowing that only he can fill the gap between what we can do and what God demands.
Many of you who are my friends do not share my faith in Jesus Christ. I respect and admire all who worship according to the dictates of their own heart. Even so, I want you to know that I believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and that by living as he has taught, I hope I can become a more worthy friend to you as well.
My wish is for all of us to have a wonderful New Year and that we and our families may be enriched in association with one another.
May God Bless You,
Bruce R. Hough