Today, after an inspiring, Christmas focused sacrament meeting, my wife and I visited an 89 year old sister that we jointly minister to. We took the sacrament to her. My wife commented the she has never been present when the sacrament is administered to a shut in. I thought how sad, but that’s not the point of this story. I blessed the single piece of bread, then the water and “passed’ them to this lovely sister, who was so extremely grateful.
I had a couple of thoughts; one is from the sacrament prayer. There is a phrase that says “…that we may have his spirit to be with us.” This “spirit” I have always thought of in the past as just the Holy Ghost. Today, with my more nuanced way of thinking, it meant something different.
I thought of the spirit of Christmas, where we are more loving and gracious to others, whether they be family, friends or strangers. The word Christmas comes from the Mass (a liturgy where the bread and wine are consecrated) and Christ. It is about thinking of Christ, in all its aspects, as a way to think of others. We can have the Christmas spirit with us all year long. The sacrament reminds us to have the Christmas spirit.
The other thought that I had was that it’s not always about me or what I believe. I was doing something for someone else, and I felt good because it made them feel good.
I don’t know if Christ was literal, or the sacrament prayer written by Joseph Smith is true, or even if my “priesthood” has real power, but in that moment, those ideas and rites were a way to bless another person. I felt like I expressed love with that act.