Who says that Christmas expectancy can't be enriched by a learning curve? Learning and Christmas? Do they go together? I think yes. Christmas is about learning that goodness is real. That divine Love is real. That all men are worthy, whole, spiritual, free. That creation is so packed and rich with goodness, that only Love could have done this. The Christ is loving each one of us as if he has nothing else to do. Christmas is all about humility and listening. As Art Fettig said: "Some businessmen are saying this could be the greatest Christmas ever. I always thought that the first one was."
So you might like to look at this Christmas time from the perspective of the shepherds, with an attitude of quiet anticipation. Following a heavenly message of peace and moving towards Bethlehem, where in a modest stable Jesus Christ was born. Moving towards Bethlehem step after step after step.
What my family has been doing for the last Christmas times is to cultivate this attitude of quiet anticipation. We take a special part of the Christian Science textbook and ponder it each day. The chapter "Recapitulation" is comprised of 24 Q&A. We ponder one Q&A each day of December prior to Christmas. You need for it the Bible commentary "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, which you can get here. Candles might shine brightly, there might be hot tea, cookies, Christmas decorations, holiday lights, Lebkuchen, an Advent wreath - all the magnificent ingredients to brighten the Christmas prep time. Advent mornings are wonderful.
The chapter "Recapitulation" serves me as a self-instruction course preparing my thought, I love to learn more about Christianity by learning more about the Science of Christianity. Although the word "Christmas" does neither occur in the Bible nor in the chapter "Recapitulation". The 24 sections in the chapter serve me as 24 steps, they help me to approach the deeper meaning of Christmas. The "course overview" can be found here, you might call it "The Christian Science Advent Calendar."
A man came upon a construction site where three people were working. He asked the first, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am laying bricks.” He asked the second, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am building a wall.” As he approached the third, he heard him humming a tune as he worked, and asked, “What are you doing?” The man stood, looked up at the sky, and smiled, “I am building a cathedral!”
You might have heard that story before - it has a powerful message every time you hear it. It talks about us - and shows us in a very short form the difference between having a job, having a career or having a calling. Take note that humming a tune comes only with the calling.
The way we live our days is the way we live our lives. What if we exchanged our earth-seven-day-week for "the heaven-seven-day-week", in which our calling is to explore the depth of goodness? Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:
"The numerals of infinity, called seven days, can never be reckoned according to the calendar of time. These days will appear as mortality disappears, and they will reveal eternity, newness of Life, in which all sense of error forever disappears and thought accepts the divine infinite calculus." (p. 520)
I get from this that the "heaven-seven-day-week", the divine week as described in Genesis 1, is very different from an earth-seven-day-week. No stress, just unfoldment. Nothing linear, everything present in the now. No retrogression, only newness of Life. No ups and downs, only goodness, beauty, stunning perfection, and the exuberant creativity of the real seven days. They appear in the weeks of our human lives, as the newness of Life, existence in good, in Spirit, appears already now. Serving God is totally unlike serving a sentence in prison. Exploring spiritual creation is certainly not done with an absent mind, but is a commitment to spiritual progress. With an adventurous spirit and a willingness to let uncomplaining selflessness shape our days, in constructive work and unfailing resolve to serve good. In the same passage, a few lines up, Mary Baker Eddy writes:
"God rests in action. Imparting has not impoverished, can never impoverish the divine Mind. No exhaustion follows the action of this Mind, according to the apprehension of divine Science. The highest and sweetest rest, even from a human standpoint, is in holy work."
Let me share with you how an application of this truth plays out in daily life - or, in other words, how the restful quality of the seventh day of creation can be perceptible in your day, every day.
The daily lifts are produced and copyrighted by The First Church of Christ, Scientist. This daily lift aired on November 25, 2016.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
I invest in peace.
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