As of Friday, January 2, 2015
Most people look forward to Christmas.
To some it is the best time of the year. To some it is the general excitement, the gaiety, friends, looking forward to gifts, etc. Some even judge if it’s a good Christmas by how many good, or expensive, gifts they receive.
Others enjoy the giving. They delight in buying things for others and seeing the joy it brings. They see giving as much more rewarding than receiving.
Then there are others who are grateful for Christmas because it reminds them of the great “gift” that God gave to us, His son, Christ Jesus, who was a perfect example of giving.
Jesus was always giving. He gave us the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer. He gave many, many people health and wholeness. He cleansed the sinners, such as Mary Magdalene. He raised people from death. He told Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again” to receive the kingdom of heaven. He was telling Nicodemus that his whole selfhood had to be redeemed and spiritualized before he could enter into the kingdom of God.
I like to think of Christmas as my time to be grateful to God for sending His son to us to show us the way. And, to show us God’s love for us by having Jesus heal all manners of sickness. Jesus then taught his disciples, students, how to go out and spread the good news by healing.
Wouldn’t the world be blessed if it was free from every form of disease and disability? In the 1800s Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, sought freedom from ill health and tried to be well by trying every form of remedy that was available at that time. But, it was to no avail. One cold winter day she slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk. She was taken to a nearby home and the attending doctor said her injuries were so severe she would not recover.
Eddy was a devout Christian and read her Bible daily. In her extremity, she asked for a Bible and read one of the accounts of Jesus’ healings. A light came into her consciousness and she was healed. She rose from bed and went downstairs to dinner to the amazement of those planning her funeral.
Now, she was so impressed she wanted to find out how she was healed. So, for three years, she withdrew from society. She studied the Bible every available minute to see if there was an underlying truth or law that could be applied to heal on a consistent basis. God’s truths began to unfold to her and she wrote down what she was learning.
As she studied, God’s laws of health became clear. In order to preserve these truths for all mankind and to free man from suffering, she wrote down what she learned in a book called Science and Health with Key to Scriptures. She called her discovery “Christian Science.”
Eddy became famous as a healer and taught many students how to heal by adhering to the Bible, science and health. This was her gift to the world.
So, if some are viewing Christmas as merely a celebration of Jesus’ birth, gift giving and bargain hunting, they may feel a letdown when Christmas is over.
However, if they look at the deeper meaning of Christmas as a time to reflect on what the Christ-child’s mission was, to free us from sin and suffering, to let us know how much God loves us, we will feel a deep continuing gratitude for His message.
As a Christian Scientist who strives to adhere to God’s healing message, I feel profound gratitude that we can go forward, obeying Jesus’ command, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall be also and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my father.” (John 14:12)
I rejoice that because of Jesus’ coming we may all be saved and live healthier lives for He said, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
How can we not feel the uplift of Christmas every day?
‑ Donna Homer is a member of the Sunnyside First Church of Christ Scientist.