IT'S natural to look forward to a happy Christmas season. Perhaps we have hopes for a glad family get-together, for joyful giving and receiving, or for simple peace. Even so, our expectations may be too small, our hopes too narrow. This Christmas season can awaken in us not only faith and hope, but an actual understanding of the mission of Christ Jesus. His life shows us that mankind can be saved from its troubles. And it shows us that we, too, can express the Christ-spirit that heals.
The awe-inspiring Christmas story is true, and it reveals the ever-presence of God's spiritual power, the fulfilling of Scriptural promises, and the overcoming of hatred and harsh, materially based laws.
The angel's early visit announcing to Mary the child and his destiny; the star leading others to find him; the way Joseph saw how his little family was to be divinely protected from Herod's evil decree-all these point to the supreme power and omnipresence of God's goodness, overruling all forms of evil.
Studying and commemorating Jesus' birth and life bring us closer to an understanding of our own spiritual identity and worth, so that the light of spiritual understanding dawns, and healing comes for us and those we love. The Master's purpose was to show us the way to salvation, to freedom from sin, sickness, and mortality. He showed what God has created man to be.
But genuine freedom isn't the result of blind faith. We need an understanding of God and man, an understanding of the perfection of creator and creation, if we are to be Jesus' disciples and learn to do the kinds of things his disciples learned to do. Jesus told those who believed him, ''If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.''n1
n1 John 8:31, 32
This freedom includes physical, mental, and moral harmony. Is our expectancy that great? These blessings are not too much to expect. They are part of the real, original message of Christmas. This is why the heavens were-and are-filled with rejoicing! The truth Jesus brought is not ''too good to be true.'' It is true. And it is too good ever to be lost or left unseen and unexperienced.
There is no sickness or injustice beyond healing, because there is no lie about man beyond reach of eternal Truth, God. We may think that we haven't the means to understand the teachings of Christ Jesus sufficiently to gain the promised blessing of healing. But we do have the means. The Scriptures themselves overflow with prophecy, guidance, and the very spirit of Christ, which heals. And there is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (written by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science), which has opened people's hearts and understanding to the Bible's practical healing message.
Science and Health is the Christian Science textbook, which aids anyone who wants to understand the mission of Christ Jesus. It helps people who practice the teachings of this Science to be better disciples. This book presents God as divine Love, our Father-Mother, the one true Mind of all.
Mrs. Eddy writes, ''The true spirit of Christmas elevates medicine to Mind; it casts out evils, heals the sick, raises the dormant faculties, appeals to all conditions, and supplies every need of man.''n2
n2 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,mp.260
Again, these wonderful blessings are not too much to expect from our Father-Mother God. But we must accept them as spiritual gifts-seek them out, unwrap them, and not let centuries of superficial dust hide them from us.
Healing is the true spirit of Christmas -this year and throughout all time. For you, and for all mankind. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also. John 14:12