Follow Us On:

Pastor’s Desk: An Empty Stocking

Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 at 4:08 pm

Brother Chris Herring, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mexico Ward

The Christmas season is fast approaching. 

One of the most beloved Christmas traditions are those of placing stockings in special places our homes. Stockings lovingly decorated and filled with candy, small toys, and other surprises.  As joyous and wonderful Christmas is,  for some, it is a reminder of current or past personal sorrows and heartache. 

In my 40 plus years in the medical field, I have been witness to the sudden, and sometimes unexpected death of a loved one, sadly close to, or on Christmas Day.

It must be hard to get in the “Christmas spirit” seeing, and holding the stockings of those loved-ones which are no longer here. 

What should you do with those empty stockings? Hang it along with the others? Keep it carefully tucked away? 

I would suggest as the Lord wants me to say: Put the stocking up in its cherished place with the your family members!  As you do this, I hope you come to know that this life is not the end, and the Lord through his Church, have provided a way for families to be together forever- even throughout the eternities.

Even though your heart may ache for lost loved ones,  you can still “fill” the stocking with acts of love and service for others. Donating a meal and/or a gifts to others, giving dog or cat food and supplies to a local animal shelter, give money to cover delinquent meal accounts at local schools,   volunteer,  visit loved ones or the elderly,  and reach out to someone with whom you may be estranged. 

One of the most important things you can do is to focus on not only the Christmas spirit,  but the “Spirit of Christmas”.  This is celebrating and remembering the Birth and Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ.

 I promise, that as you “fill” those empty stockings with acts of love, service, and sacrifice, the pain of separation will be tempered with hope and joy. Joy not only for Christmas memories with loved ones, but smiles of gratitude from the Lord. 

May you feel the Lord’s love, and accept His strength not only during the Christmas Season, but always.

Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. 

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen