Gift-giving is an expression of love. And as the First Epistle of John says, “This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven” (4:10, Good News Translation).
We might say that the greatest gift that has ever been given to humanity is God’s gift of Christ Jesus. God, divine Love itself, loves us so much that He sent Jesus to awaken us to our own pure identity as God’s loved sons and daughters, and show us how to live this identity. This is indeed something to celebrate!
Jesus referred to himself as the Son of God, which points to his spiritual and eternal identity as Christ, the full expression of divine Love’s reforming and healing power. He also referred to himself as the Son of man, his appearance in human form through his virgin birth, which is what we celebrate at Christmastime.
While living his Christ-identity on Earth, Jesus faced every imaginable form of opposition. And there was plenty of it! But nevertheless, he loved us – everyone. Through Jesus’ faithful expression of divine Love’s omnipotent power, he reformed human character, healed diseases, and reversed destructive material forces. He did all this to show us God’s love for us, and to prove that God is present to fully meet everyone’s human needs.
All of Jesus’ teachings, including the Lord’s Prayer, his Sermon on the Mount, and instructive parables – along with his mighty healing works – help us recognize and live our own spiritual identity and follow Jesus’ example in being Christian healers.
One time, Jesus had a brief conversation with a woman from Samaria at a well. When she came to draw water, he asked her to give him a drink. She couldn’t understand why he would ask her to do that, since the Jewish and Samaritan people were enemies. Then, he said something that puzzled her even more, because he had nothing with him to draw water from the well. He said, “If you only knew what God’s gift is and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked him for a drink. He would have given you living water” (John 4:10, God’s Word translation).
“Living water.” That’s what Christ gives individuals thirsty for purification and courage, as Jesus discerned that the woman was.
The Christ, this message of God’s purifying love, is still with us today to refresh and purify and heal us. As Mary Baker Eddy wrote in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Jesus was born of Mary. Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (p. 332). Through this ever-present Christ, communicating divine Truth to our consciousness, we feel God’s love for us. And when we listen to and humbly receive Christ, we are washed clean of sickness and sin – healed of human characteristics and thoughts, however slight or great, that are unlike God, good, and therefore not part of our true nature as God’s spiritual creation.
Christ inspires us, cleanses us from within, heals our bodies, and gives us courage and opportunity for a fresh start.
When we feel God’s amazing love for us through Christ, we become willing and eager to let Christ help us be true to our original Godlike identity. That can sometimes be a struggle and take discipline, but as I’ve experienced all of my adult life – through my study and practice of Christian Science – this is a most practical, healthy, and joyous way of living.
And what a blessing it is for others when we reflect and express God’s healing love for them. Actually, we need to share God’s gift of Christ with others through our living of it. We can’t just keep this gift to ourselves and expect to make continuing progress in experiencing its benefits. Jesus expected his followers, in his time and ours, to extend this gift to others for their healing and salvation. In other words, we are called to be Christly healers (see Matthew 10:8). And Jesus followed this instruction to heal with this: “Freely ye have received, freely give.”
Can you think of a better way to celebrate Christ’s coming?
Some more great ideas! To read or listen to an article on seeing past limited choices, please click through to “Taking sides? There’s another option” on www.JSH-Online.com. There is no paywall for this content.