Unselfing the season

There’s a gift we can all freely give and receive that comes from the heart: unselfed love impelled by God, which uplifts and heals.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
Loading the player...

It seems as if there’s an uptick this year in humanity’s longing to see Christmas as more than transaction, more than just buying and getting. Commercialism feels particularly hollow these days, with so many unemployed or not sure they can keep their business doors open much longer. Seems as though tender, substantial heart-support would be a welcome Christmas gift for anyone this season.

So how to experience that? Mary Baker Eddy founded Christian Science to reinstate the pivotal role of spiritual healing in meeting human needs, as Jesus Christ taught and demonstrated. In a Christmas sermon in 1888, Mrs. Eddy spoke of one of the distinguishing qualities Jesus expressed in this way: “To carry out his holy purpose, he must be oblivious of human self” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 162).

Being self-oblivious certainly runs counter to many pervasive cultural influences that focus on satisfying self. And yet we see examples of selflessness all around us: encouraging others, engaging strangers while out on a walk, forgiving without requiring an acknowledgment. These gestures are expressions of our spiritual identity. It’s living the way God, divine Love itself, created us to live – loving unselfishly.

Striving to mirror Jesus’ unselfed example has much deeper ramifications than feel-good behavior. It profoundly identifies every individual’s real nature as spiritual, as God-created and cared for, forever. It opens us up to respond to God’s perennial good for each of us – both as receivers and as givers. And as Jesus’ ministry proved, this brings about tangible healing.

Maybe being a little more “oblivious” of self isn’t impossibly idealistic after all. Maybe it signals the best Christmas gift of all: knowing God is with you. And with me. And with everyone else, too.

Some more great ideas! To read an article in The Christian Science Journal’s archives in which Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy shares “What Christmas Means to Me,” please click through to www.JSH-Online.com. There is no paywall for this content.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Unselfing the season
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today