As Christ becomes more of a focus in our thinking – at Christmas and all year round – we experience greater joy, less stress, and even healing.

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He was a composer who had gone bankrupt, was a deeply depressed man, and was derided as a “nincompoop.” One day, though, a friend asked if he would write music to accompany Bible verses that had been compiled into a libretto. Later on, another party asked if he would compose music for a benefit performance. This composer, George Frideric Handel, began writing the music. He wrote and wrote and within 24 days, he had written the 260 pages of what was called “Messiah.”

When this oratorio was first performed, there was some controversy, but it was quite well received. And some have said that when it was later performed in London, King George II attended and wound up rising during the opening notes of the “Hallelujah” chorus. This has been a tradition ever since.

For centuries, performance after performance has still touched the heart when this ageless piece of music has been sung. Not just because it is beautifully written, but because of the meaning of the words and the reverence for God and His Son.

As this Christmas season arrives, let’s remember these words of Scripture, as adapted in Handel’s oratorio: “The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (see Revelation 11:15). Instead of letting the observance of Christmas become swallowed up in endless tasks and spending, we can consciously turn to recognizing “alleluia” (which means a song of praise to God) embracing any and all holiday celebrations.

These words from a New York World newspaper article by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, speak volumes: “Christmas respects the Christ too much to submerge itself in merely temporary means and ends” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 259).

How much will we respect the Christ this Christmas season? Will we keep the Christ – the healing Truth Jesus demonstrated and taught – uppermost in our thinking this holiday and all year long? Will we pray for ourselves and others? Will we so mirror what Jesus taught, that others will take notice and feel the presence of God and His Christ?

In the same article by Mrs. Eddy, she states: “The basis of Christmas is love loving its enemies, returning good for evil, love that ‘suffereth long, and is kind.’ The true spirit of Christmas elevates medicine to Mind; it casts out evils, heals the sick, raises the dormant faculties, appeals to all conditions, and supplies every need of man” (Miscellany, p. 260). These are the gifts that we can give that will replace stress and pressure with joy, spiritual progress, and accomplishments; and, replace loneliness and fear with hearts filled with peace and love. In other words, the greatest gift we can give is healing.

The Christ is always present; it is the true idea of God. Beautifully lived in the life of Jesus, the Christ is the power by which he healed sin and disease. Its comforting presence is still here, teaching us that the true identity of each of us is the child of God. This spiritual discernment recognizes that the man and woman of God’s creating are not fleshly manifestations exhibiting disease, sin, and death, but instead the image of Spirit, spiritual and perfect. It is this Christlike understanding that we should cherish at the Christmas season, and all year long.

One year, a few weeks before Christmas, I became quite ill. I was unable to eat, sleep, or do much of anything, and was continually cold. I reached out to God, praying that the divine will of health be established in me. My prayer was asking God to help me surrender a feeling of sadness and being victimized by illness, to a change of thinking – a yearning to understand more deeply my true selfhood as God’s spiritual child. I felt my thought lifted to a sense of divine comfort. And I experienced the redeeming power of the Christ, Truth. I was well.

A few days later, I received a call from a music conductor who was putting together a group of individuals to play for the students at our local college. I was grateful to be healthy and able to play well. One of the pieces we performed was the “Hallelujah” chorus. It was a sacred experience.

The Christ – God’s saving power – is with all of us now and always, able to bring healing to any situation. Have a merry Christmas – one filled with God’s love that redeems, restores, and heals. Hallelujah!

Adapted from an editorial published in the Dec. 2022 issue of The Christian Science Journal.

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