"We are entering another wonderful Christmas season filled with music and lights, parties and presents. But of all people, we as members of the church that bears the Savior's name need to look beyond the facade of the season and see the sublime truth and beauty of this time of year.
"I wonder how many in Bethlehem knew that right there, close to them, the Savior had been born? The Son of God, the long-awaited and promised Messiah-- He was in their midst!"
Why didn't more know about the Christ's birth? And later on, why didn't more people follow the star? If you remember, at the time of Christ's birth, Bethlehem was being bombarded with out-of-towners because of a decree by Caesar Augustus that all the world must be taxed. There were so many people the inns were filled to capacity and then some. (Luke 2:1-7)
Busy with their lists and minds filled with other business (much of it probably important), not everyone was in the mindset to receive any more things to do. Who was? Outside of the hustle and bustle, shepherds silently watching their sheep were visited by an angel delivering a message of joy and of peace. (Luke 2:8-15)
Not a thing has changed since that first Christmas. The majority of the world celebrating Christmas is a-buzz with parties and shopping and travel. So many cannot be derailed to do anything outside of their Christmas to-do list. As a result, some may delight in the success of their well-planned parties. Some may feel burned-out right before or right after the holiday. Others might conclude their celebrations needed a little more Christ and a little less "mas" (Spanish for more). Meanwhile, the few and quiet of mind will be washed over with peace, a result of leaving themselves available to receive continual impressions from the Holy Ghost's message that the Lord's life and resurrection brings good tidings to us all.
What were the shepherds doing that first Christmas night? They were caring for their flocks. We can each take note from the shepherds' examples; the best way to ensure we are open to heavenly messages and see Christ this Christmas and throughout the years is by caring for His flocks.