The biggest gift

At Christmas and always, each of us is the recipient of a wonderful gift: the gift of healing, which, as Jesus taught, God freely gives to all.

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When I was a kid, my sisters, brother, and I would sneak downstairs early Christmas morning to see the gifts under the tree, and then sneak right back up to our bedrooms. A large gift like a bicycle was unwrapped, and we would do a great job of pretending it was a big surprise. But sometimes, a very small gift we had hoped for would actually be a really big surprise, because the small box containing it would be in a much bigger box.

Christmas, of course, is far bigger than the giving and receiving of material gifts. It’s about what God, divine Love, freely gives to everyone to receive freely and give freely. It can appear in very big ways or in the smallest kindnesses.

For instance, there was a man in the Bible who’d had physical disabilities since birth and saw little prospects for himself. He simply sat outside the entrance of a place of worship asking for a little something from the people coming there.

When Peter and John, disciples of Christ Jesus, saw him, Peter told the man he didn’t have any gold or silver, but “such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” That wonderful gift of healing was a very big and unexpected surprise for that man, and “he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God” (see Acts 3:1-8).

Peter, John, and other disciples had been commissioned by Jesus to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils.” Jesus knew God, the universal giver of inexhaustible health and purity, had given them this amazing gift – the ability to heal. So he added, “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).

And Jesus fully expected that anyone could learn how to give this gift of healing that God freely gives to all. All of God’s children – you and me and everyone – have abilities that far exceed human power. We are actually created by divine Love as the very reflection of the Love that heals.

Divine Love is so big that it can’t be wrapped into a package of any size, and neither can its reflection; this Love is infinite. We are embraced, or wrapped, you might say, in the infinite consciousness of divine Love, which is pure good and includes no limitations, diseases, or inharmonies. This is the divine Science of being, the Truth that Christ Jesus lived and by which he healed.

This Science is a wonderful gift from God to humanity, and it heals today when it is understood and practiced. This understanding comes through receptive and humble study of the Bible – along with “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the book that explains the spiritual sense of the truth Jesus demonstrated. Through this consecrated study, accompanied by earnest prayer to understand Christian Science and allow it to transform us, God’s healing love is reflected in us, touching all who are embraced in our thoughts.

But what about thoughts of sickness and sin? Where do they come from? Well, that’s the point! They don’t exist in God, the infinite Spirit that fills all space. When divine Love purifies our individual human consciousness, those thoughts lose their reality to us and are washed away. That’s how Christian Science heals. As explained in Science and Health: “The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation” (p. xi).

So, if we want to grow in our ability to heal by reflecting God’s love, we can start by allowing divine Love to fill our hearts and minds, revealing to us everyone’s true identity and worth as God’s reflection. Then, we naturally value others as more wonderful, pure, and healthy than they may appear on the surface, and the love we express will reflect all-powerful divine Love’s healing power.

Divine Love just keeps giving. And the more we receive it – open our thought to it – and reflect it in our own hearts and actions, the more we feel within ourselves its healing and transforming power. And others feel it embracing them as well.

Adapted from an editorial published in the December 2019 issue of The Christian Science Journal.

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