Individual wholeness, family, and the holidays
A Christian Science perspective: Healing thoughts about family relationships
Emotions can run high during the holiday season, especially when it comes to thoughts of family. Often, such feelings – whether they are pleasant or unpleasant, happy or sad, self-concerned or concerned for the welfare and happiness of others – are linked to how secure or insecure we may feel about our own worth and ability in relation to others.
What’s really capable of making us feel confident within ourselves, and with our family members, is to understand the spiritual wholeness we have individually and collectively as members within the one universal family of God. That’s something we can turn our thought to, cherish in our hearts, and celebrate today – and bring with us during the holidays and beyond.
Christ Jesus was so crystal clear concerning his own identity as the Son of God that he was able to awaken within others the understanding of their own cherished worth and identity as God’s children. Others in the Bible caught the spirit of this message, as we read in Ephesians: “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:14-16). The divine Spirit, the infinite God, is the Father and Mother of you and everyone. As the Bible declares in Genesis and elsewhere, we are God’s spiritual image and likeness, reflecting His purity, wholeness, and perfection. As God’s offspring, our heritage is divine, and no other relationship or circumstance can alter our relationship to Him. This truth is here for us to discern and live now and forever; it is the Christ message, the same truth Jesus lived and taught.
The desire to hear the Christ message comes from our God-given faith in the power of good. Many were attracted to Jesus because they simply wanted to be healed. But others, having an innate desire for genuine spiritual good, were attracted to him because they were receptive to Christ and its healing power. To a man who came to thank Jesus for healing him of leprosy, Jesus said, “Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole” (Luke 17:19). His faith had awakened him to his wholeness as God’s child.
With our faith in good, you and I can listen for the ideas Christ, Truth, is imparting to us. Then we, too, can be made whole and arise and go our way. Healings are proof of the wholeness we have forever had as the image and likeness of God. The writings of Mary Baker Eddy on the Science of Christianity have been invaluable to me in pursuing this truth. Christian Science teaches that whatever is unlike good, unlike God, is untrue – an error of thought regarding God and His creation – and that correcting these errors through a higher understanding of our God-given selfhood restores what we thought was missing, and we experience more of our eternal perfection. Here’s a statement of Mrs. Eddy’s that deserves our thoughtful attention: “Man is the family name for all ideas, – the sons and daughters of God. All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 515). We need to nurture a keen sensitivity to the goodness of God and see it in ourselves as well as in everyone else.
Here’s an example: I was moving with my husband and son to a town where my older sister lived with her family. Now I had always loved my sister, but we had not lived anywhere near each other since we became adults. In anticipation of our move the thought came to me, “Do I have to be a little sister again?” The suggestion was that I would feel somewhat demoted in my sense of worth around my big sister. As a Christian Scientist, though, I understood that we each had equal value in the eyes of God, so I settled that question right then in my own thought. I reasoned that as whole and equally valuable individuals – each of us being the spiritual expression of God – we had the natural ability to simply be good friends with a mutual appreciation for one another. And that’s the way it was – and is.
When we listen to God’s voice concerning our worth as His children, the grace of God works in us to bring out the best in others and in ourselves. Whether during the holidays or any other time, through the grace of God working in us our days can become holy days of progress and healing. Now that’s something to celebrate!