ONE Christmas season as I observed a woman hurriedly entering a store, I wondered if she was truly conscious of the meaning of Christmas. Of course, it was really none of my business. But the question got me thinking. ``Am I properly conscious of the meaning of Christmas?"
Perhaps what I was really wondering was whether our manner of celebrating the coming of Christ Jesus is really in keeping with the divine qualities we so adore in him. That familiar verse of Isaiah's, ``and his name shall be called Wonderful, calls to mind our Saviour's marvelously good and pure nature and purpose. How can we keep Christmas sacred and full of wonder?
Christmas honors Christ. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains: ``Christ expresses God's spiritual, eternal nature. The name is synonymous with Messiah, and alludes to the spirituality which is taught, illustrated, and demonstrated in the life of which Christ Jesus was the embodiment."
Implicit in our adoration of Christ is the need to grasp man's immortality. If we are starting from the basis that we have been born from mortal parents into a world of fear and struggle, this recognition seems elusive. But the First Epistle of John proclaims, ``Beloved, now are we the sons of God." This Scripture enjoins us to lay claim to our own spiritual nature. We do this by expressing unselfed love, humility, purity, obedience, and joy. The effort to understand man's immortality as God's creation h eals us both physically and morally by bringing thought and action into line with God.
Feelings of limitation directly oppose the limitless, eternal nature of Christ. At the moment when mortality asserts itself, whether in ourselves or others, just then we most need to affirm vigorously that manour--true nature is immortal. This turning of thought towards God sanctifies Christmas and unfolds its original wonder anew. Not surprisingly, a more spiritual view of life sends ripples of peace and patience through our holiday preparations. Such things as good food and gift-giving take form as sym bols of love, instead of obligatory traditions.
Remember the pre-Christmas afternoon when I noticed that busy woman? After my initial cynicism, a strong desire for change came into my own thought. I shifted my focus to the actual presence of Christ, of the spiritual nature of God and man. I thought about the fact that man is immortal, and therefore awake and responsive to holiness. This simple prayer was a wholly joyous activity, like a song. I did my final errand and went home, utterly satisfied and happy. Yet there would be an added unsought blessin g.
About a week later as I stood before the mirror to brush my hair, I noticed a slight change in my appearance. For several years over one eyebrow there had been a bump in my skin that had grown gradually larger. Now I noticed that in those few days it had greatly diminished. Shortly thereafter it was completely gone. Those wonder-filled moments of communion with God had transformed my thinking, bringing humility, harmony, and joy. It should not have surprised me that the blemish disappeared. My prayer had
addressed the spiritual nature of life itself. And this truth wholly outweighed the material view. Christ's presence regenerates us mentally, morally, physically.
Wonder-full Christmas! Always full of its original wonder-- that the Messiah is here, graciously disclosing the actual spiritual nature of every woman, man, and child.