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.
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.