Christmas and Resurrection

I FEEL a special joy each December because we celebrate the coming of Christ Jesus. I really do love Christmas! But I've found it impossible to separate Jesus' amazing birth from the great spiritual meaning of his entire life here on earth. This really culminates in the Easter message. Easter is something that can be -- even should be -- felt every day. In the spring when the flowers bud and blossom and in December when the days are short and chilly and gray. The Easter story is a promise for us on any day, in any season, under any circumstance. Resurrection. Isn't this the Easter message in one word? Christ Jesus came as God's child. He brought healing and light to humanity. ``I am come,'' Jesus said, ``that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.''

Christ Jesus' explanation and convincing illustration that man is spiritual in his entire being -- and not a biological creature separated from God -- reversed what the world commonly perceives. Those worldly minds who felt threatened by this spiritual view of man resisted the message of Christ to the extreme of arresting and crucifying Jesus.

Then we come to the resurrection, the essence of Easter, the final proof of what Jesus taught. And the fact that Christ Jesus walked forth from the tomb marks the supreme triumph of God's power and love over materiality and hate. The Resurrection is really an affirmation of the truth that man's life is spiritual and not at the mercy of material forces.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, focused a chapter, ``Atonement and Eucharist,'' on Easter's timeless and universal message in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Here she says, ``There were rock-ribbed walls in the way, and a great stone must be rolled from the cave's mouth; but Jesus vanquished every material obstacle, overcame every law of matter, and stepped forth from his gloomy resting-place, crowned with the glory of a sublime success, an everlasting victory.''

Ever felt that a ``great stone'' blocked a main avenue in your life? Ever felt cut off from being who you really are? Here's how a friend of mine dealt with his ``stone.''

He had made a career change that did not have support from his family. For a couple years my friend worked away at his new career, feeling all the while that the lack of support from his family explained why he did not do all that he could to succeed in his new work. Then, one day he saw the real nature of that ``great stone'' in the Easter story. The ``stone'' wasn't what he saw as ``no family support,'' but it was his own reliance on others' opinions of him as a justification for doing less than he could do!

As he continued to pray, he saw that the only ``weight'' to this stone was his own acceptance of it. He began looking at his work from a more spiritual perspective. Since he felt unmistakably guided by God's love and wisdom in entering his new work, this spiritual support was the support he needed. What God directs, He supports with intelligence, vision, and strength that can't be matched humanly.

Understanding this one point bolstered my friend's efforts. He saw that the lack of support from family members had actually helped him turn more quickly to God for the guidance he needed. And that spiritual lesson spilled over into every aspect of his new career. And this is how my friend celebrates Easter every day.

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