For several years I was a radio reporter on May Day activities in southern England, which were always an uneasy mix of demonstration and celebration. The demonstrations were similar to last month's May Day melee in London, in which "anti-capitalist" protests in Parliament Square got out of hand. The celebrations ranged from madrigals sung at sunrise among the spires of Oxford (remember the movie "Shadowlands"?) to dances around the maypole on village greens.
It seems that the promise of warmer weather draws people out into the streets, and they just have to find something to shout, sing, or dance about - even at the risk of irritating those with a different agenda.
A study of the Bible, and especially the teachings and example of Jesus - whose "demonstrations" were mostly of the how-to-do-good kind - leaves us in no doubt that there is only one way to live in harmony with other people, whatever the season. He said, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you" (John 15:12).
How then did Jesus love people - even his enemies? Clearly, it was a totally unselfish love, given without discrimination and without expectation of reward. It was based on a firm knowledge that all with whom he had dealings were fellow children of God and would someday recognize this and act accordingly.
In spiritual truth, all of us live in the kingdom of God right now; we live in the divine consciousness, loved, protected, and constantly governed by God. We are therefore already perfect, beautiful, possessing all of the divine faculties. We are in fact God's spiritual expression, divine Love's eternal manifestation, and as such, it is our duty now to live the Father's love as selflessly, humbly, and willingly as we can.
Mary Baker Eddy explained the spiritual rewards of loving others when she wrote, "Love enriches the nature, enlarging, purifying, and elevating it" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 57). And a hymn further explains the nature of love:
Love casts out every fear, lifts the heart to gladness.
Love heals our every ill,
All the law does love fulfill.
This law is the law of God, who is the source of all love, and is also the great healer of injustices of every kind. The hymn ends:
Love bids all discord cease.
Conquering hate, enthroning peace,
Love, Love alone is power.
("Christian Science Hymnal," No. 179)
Jesus' life gave solid proof of the power of Love to remedy injustice. He showed his followers how their intimate relationship with the Father could bring them dominion in their personal lives.
Gaining a deep and sturdy consciousness of God's power and love for us shields us from damaging frustration or bitterness. When we feel upset by living conditions in our own country or in another, we can first help bring improvement by getting closer to God in prayer, loving all of His children more, and listening for Him to tell us how His will may be done.
In every season, we can bring to our community fresh hope, joy, and commitment to progress and justice. We can swap even minor frustrations for colorful maypole ribbons, put on dancing shoes, and discover what it really means to celebrate God's goodness.
When we spiritualize our thought in this way, peace sweeps through us like blossoms through the branches of grateful trees and shrubs. We regain our calm, our taste for singing and laughter, our delight in sharing the joys of existence. Dark thoughts can't take over. We know we are the cherished children of Love, whatever the appearance, the situation, or the season.
This is what we should be celebrating every day of the year.
Thine, O Lord, is the greatness,
and the power, and the
glory, and the victory,
and the majesty.
I Chronicles 29:11
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society