Sunday, December 18, 2016

Nativity Stained Glass - Cathedral Saint Jean - Besancon, France
Spirit of Christmas - Nativities

Just a week before Christmas as we strive to enjoy and appreciate the Spirit of Christ this Season of the year.  We love nativities and are missing the many that usually decorate our home, wherever that may have been.  For us, the nativity of our Savior Jesus Christ has been an important part of our efforts to draw closer to Him this time of the year.

We hope you enjoy the stained glass nativities we have included above and below.  Not something that we were accustomed to seeing at home in the United States.  We think they are beautiful and we are grateful to have them at this Season of the Year.  None of the ones here were taken since we arrive
in the Paris France Mission, but rather come from our days in the Lyon France Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Nativity Stained Glass - Eglise Saint Blaise - Vichy, France
We have been striving to follow the counsel given in the Church program "Light the World"/"Eclairez le Monde".  We go to the computer each day to preview the suggestions for how we can be a Light Unto the World and as we do our Nativity screen saver prepares us as we look for what we can do to become more like the Savior.  This has been an enjoyable and spiritual experience for us as we put into action some small endeavor that might bless another and ourselves.   This has been a blessing in our lives and we encourage you to join us in being a Light to the World - there are still eight days remaining before Christmas.  Go to the or site and begin enjoying the blessings of the Spirit of Christ.  Of course, we know many of you have been doing as we have.

Nativity Stained Glass - Chapelle Paul Couturie - Lyon, France
Wise Men and Shepherds

The magi who came from the Orient were wise enough to be humble.  Their humility enabled them to find the Savior of the World.

The Shepherds near Bethlehem were humble enough to be wise.  Their wisdom enabled them to seek the Redeemer of mankind.

The true wisdom of the shepherds and the magi is found in their desire to seek out the newborn child Jesus Christ.  These two groups represent the fact that Christ truly is the Savior of all the world and that all, no matter their status in life, must seek the Savior for themselves.

The shepherds were poor, unlearned and humble people; thus the angels visited them to help them understand the importance of the birth of the baby Jesus.  Once they understood they went with haste to find the Christ child.

The magi were educated, intelligent and prosperous men who learned of the birth of the Savior through prophecy and revelation.  Once they saw the Star they began a long and difficult journey to find the babe Jesus Christ.

While there is no record of a class of people falling between the humble shepherds and the wise men of the East visiting the Christ child at or near his birth, the extremes in class suggest that all men must seek out the Savior for themselves.  We must, each of us, be humble and wise enough to seek the Savior.
Nativity Stained Glass - Eglise Sainte Blandine - Lyon, France

Coq of the Week

This week we found our special coq/rooster at the top of a church in Le Mesnil, Belgium.  Like all the others we found him interesting and yet he is unique.  We discovered him while helping our single sister Kate Schuiling move from one village in Belgium to another.  Sister Schuiling does not enjoy the coq girouettes as much as we do but we still love her.  Sister Schuiling is doing well as she recovers from her foot operation.
Coq Girouette - Eglise - Le Mesnil, Belgium

Goutee de Noel

This past Saturday, the 17th, our Branch held its annual Goutee de Noel.  (Sorry...we haven't taken time to learn how to put all the accents on the french words....those who know french will know where they go and how to pronounce the words....the rest of you....??)  A goutee is a meal/snack that takes place between lunch and dinner; thus, we held ours at 4PM.  Of course, there were tons of goodies to eat.  Everyone had a wonderful time but we were missing several of our faithful members who had fallen ill with one sickness or another.  Colds and the flu seem to be a bit on the rampage these days.
Goutee de Noel - Charleville-Mezieres Branche, France
While the number in attendance was not great, we did have a wonderful time and we were able to make some new friendships and renew others.

Faithful Members

Emeric Biver is a 30 year old former member of our Branch.  He left our area about a month after we arrived here in Charleville to pursue work in Bordeaux, France.  He is back for the holidays and contributed to the joy of our gathering.  He spoke in Sacrament meeting today, in spite of being sick with a cold.

Emeric has been a member of the Church all his life.  Is the oldest child of Isabelle and Laurent Biver of our Branch.  He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder-Day Saints in England.  He is very educated and attended Oxford University.  He has a degree in laser technologies but is pursuing a Doctorate degree in Psychology.

It was a great loss to our Branch when he left for Bordeaux!  I was wonderful to see him again and to have him speak in our Sacrament meeting.

Emeric Biver - Charleville-Mezieres Branch - C-M, France

Amies de l'Eglise - Investigators

We also had the pleasure of meeting two women the Young Elders began teaching about a week ago.  Madame Quinet and her daughter came to our Goutee de Noel.   They are both very kind and sweet ladies.  So far it is Madame Quinet who has the greatest interest in learning of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  We will go with the Elders to teach them a discussion this evening.   It is always a great blessing to teach with our hard working Elders.

I hope to learn a great deal more about these women tonight and in the weeks to come.  Sorry I don't have a great deal I can say at present.  The Elders have very high hopes that Madame Quinet will come unto Christ and be blessed by the Restored Gospel, as do we.  Of course, we know the challenges that lie ahead and pray that they are not too great.
Madame Quinet - Amie de l'Eglise - Charleville-Mezieres, France

M. Quinet's Daughter - Amie de l'Eglise - Charleville-Mezieres, France

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas, Herb & Nancy. You two are such an example of goodness for us. God bless you! R & S Kennard