I’ve begun to cherish more deeply the sacred message of Christmas – not just on Christmas Day, but every day.
Through my study of Christian Science I have learned that Christmas is not just a celebration of Jesus’ virgin birth, as profoundly important as that event was. Christmas signifies an endless chorus of praise for the forever coming of the Christ – the Truth that brings healing and salvation to humanity. Let me share a healing of my own that illustrates this point.
A couple of years ago, in early October, I was scheduled to give a talk one Saturday in Manhattan in New York City. On the Friday before the talk, I began to experience symptoms of a sore throat and congestion. I was concerned about these symptoms in view of the need to use my voice freely the next day. So I addressed my fears in prayer. I felt a sense of calm as I began to affirm what I had been learning about God and man in Christian Science. More than that, I was beginning to understand what Jesus taught us about our nature as God’s children, expressing God’s goodness. Christ Jesus’ major message as he preached was that the kingdom of heaven, God’s reign and rule of harmony and health, is always present to be realized and accepted.
When I pray, I try to do so with the same spirit as the shepherds and the wise men, who came to the babe in the manger – humbly, on bended knee, with gifts of gratitude for the might and glory of God, honoring God’s gift of the Christ, which shows us the purity and innocence of our childlike, God-given nature.
Mary Baker Eddy writes in the Preface to her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings. The wakeful shepherd beholds the first faint morning beams, ere cometh the full radiance of a risen day. So shone the pale star to the prophet-shepherds; yet it traversed the night, and came where, in cradled obscurity, lay the Bethlehem babe, the human herald of Christ, Truth, who would make plain to benighted understanding the way of salvation through Christ Jesus, till across a night of error should dawn the morning beams and shine the guiding star of being. The Wisemen were led to behold and to follow this daystar of divine Science, lighting the way to eternal harmony” (p. vii).
That particular “October Christmas morning,” I was inspired by a clearer recognition of the presence of God’s eternal harmony. One important idea uncovered my misconception about holy days being exclusive to holidays. The Bible tells us, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:24). As we lean on the infinitude of God to sustain us, every day is big with God’s blessings – including the inspiration and demonstration of health and harmony. I saw that the Friday prep day before my talk was just as precious and God-supported as the Saturday talk day. I didn’t have to gear up for, or wait for, God’s full measure of care to sustain me. It was ever present.
During the sound check for the talk around noon that Friday, the symptoms seemed to be getting worse. So later that afternoon, I took the time to pray as I walked down Fifth Avenue. Thousands of people were outside, and I glimpsed something of the fact that not only is each day an opportunity to prove that we are governed by God, but each one of us is holy as God’s spiritual idea. By the time I returned to the hotel, all the symptoms had melted away. I was very grateful for the freedom to do the talk the next day, but I was even more grateful for the birth of this fresh, Christly concept in my own consciousness: Each one of us is God’s child, and being conscious of this makes every moment of every day sacred.
No matter the season, let’s share this Christmas spirit year-round and recognize the precious moments we each have to demonstrate Christ’s healing power.