Into a dark world – dark with war, political turmoil, and religious unrest – a very bright star appeared. King Herod the Great was terrorizing and executing many, even his own family members. Yet, the saying is true: the darker the night, the brighter the star. It was certainly a brilliant star that appeared to announce Jesus’ birth.
From that point on, year by year, the world shifted tremendously. Wars with names we cannot remember, conquerors whose titles we cannot recall, and destructive events we may not recollect, all now pale before the brightness of Jesus’ example. He showed for his time, and for all time, how the power of God, good, is a present and incontestable power.
Is Jesus’ healing example and inspired teaching enough to change the world today? Certainly. The physical person, Jesus, left us long ago. What hasn’t left us, though, is his spiritual self, the Christ, the bright healing and unifying power Jesus manifested during his career of such extensive healing.
At one point, Jesus said something about this brilliant, always-present power of God, something that can be very encouraging for all of us: “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). The same God, the same Father, behind Jesus’ healing ministry still enables healing today and provides needed good for each of us.
Jesus encouraged all of us to let this divine power help us to heal and reform, to love and to thrive: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12).
The healing so needed today becomes possible through turning not to Jesus as a mortal, but to the Christ he expressed, which Christian Science defines as “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 332). On page 215 in that same book, Mrs. Eddy makes this point: “We are sometimes led to believe that darkness is as real as light; but Science affirms darkness to be only a mortal sense of the absence of light, at the coming of which darkness loses the appearance of reality.”
Sometimes we may feel that darkness surrounds our world. Yet, like those who spotted the bright star announcing the arrival of Christ Jesus, we can be watchful now, in prayer, for God’s loving message. And when we let that Christ message enlighten how we think and feel, one step at a time, we’re letting that brilliant, transforming, healing light of Christ shine through in the world.
Once I hired someone to do some work on my house. The job didn’t take long and the man talked with me as he worked, persistently asking about my family and those “religious books and magazines,” the Christian Science literature, he’d noticed in my home.
After carefully considering his questions and answering as best I could, I gave him some of the books. A few days later he called and said that studying those materials – which included Science and Health, the textbook of Christian Science – had freed him from a physical problem that he’d had for over 20 years.
Then he said something else that was very interesting to me. He said that about a week before, he’d had the feeling that his life was about to change dramatically.
Looking back on this, I attribute what happened to a divine light that was dawning in consciousness. It seemed to me that it was the activity of the Christ that inspired that man to ask about Christian Science, inspired me to share those books with him, and changed that man’s life for the better.
Even when the world appears dark, perhaps very dark, the light of God’s goodness is presently shining brightly to inspire and awaken us to the divine peace and joy that are always ours. Should we really continue to expect the star of divine inspiration to appear? Yes! In fact, in every single moment, it always is appearing – not in the sky, perhaps, but in thought.
Jesus promised, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18). Each day, within the precinct of our own thoughts, and with joyful anticipation, we can watch for and welcome the Christ in action – healing, renewing, unifying, enlightening.