Article of the Week

Graceful Christmas: Of Receiving and Giving

Graceful Christmas; Christmas stories in Matthew and Luke

Graceful Christmas: Of Receiving and Giving, by Brent J. Schmidt and John W. Welch, from BYU Studies
A wonderful hymn in the LDS hymnbook, number 219, powerfully expresses this thought, "Because I have been given much, I too must give." This hymn should be sung at all times, but especially at Christmastime. In preparing to give Christmas presents, who wouldn't say to themselves, "Because Jesus has given so infinitely much to me, I too must give"? And in feeling grateful after Christmas, who shouldn't say, "Because I have received such treasures this Christmas, I too must give and show my thanks indeed"?

You see, a person is under no obligation to receive a gift that is offered. But once a person accepts that gift, there are natural moral obligations that become attached to that beneficence. This is because the bond of giving and receiving necessarily creates a special relationship between the giver and the receiver. And that amazing relational bond is what grace is all about.

Are the Christmas stories in Matthew and Luke reconcilable? By John Welch, from the BYU New Testament Commentary
The Christmas stories of Matthew and Luke are very different. They tell us different things. Each has a different perspective, approach, and audience. But underlying their differences is essential agreement on ten most important points.