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 of love, 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.
And the deeper meaning of Christmas is key to true Christmas peace. Sheer inspiration comes from Mary Baker Eddy - she must have looked at the various ways Jesus Christ is remembered and celebrated in communities and families, I can imagine her looking at little Jesus babes in cribs or mangers, nativity plays, and Christmas services. It all has its place in life, and yet when it comes to real help and healing, something more is in store for us today. She writes:
"Let the sentinels of Zion's watch-towers shout once again, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.”
In different ages the divine idea assumes different forms, according to humanity's needs. In this age it assumes, more intelligently than ever before, the form of Christian healing. This is the babe we are to cherish."
(Mis. 370:9-15 (to 2nd .))
So the chapter "Recapitulation" serves me as a self-instruction course in preparing my thought to receive more of the Christian healing, Jesus introduced. I love to learn more about Christianity by learning more about the Science of Christianity with its healing dimension and practical impact. Although the word "Christmas" does neither occur in the Bible nor in the chapter "Recapitulation". The 24 sections in the chapter serve as 24 steps, they approach the deeper meaning of Christmas in quiet anticipation. The "course overview" can be found here, you might call it "The Christian Science Advent Calendar."
Here it is, our true place in Life: Right by the continuous flow of good, directly from God. This good is refreshing, uplifting, sustaining, supporting, inspiring, unending, healing, freeing --- and our greatest asset, spiritual sense, knows and feels this. Mary Baker Eddy observes: "Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God." (Science and Health, p. 209) As a side note: Wouldn't you want to have a book in your home that gives you insights like these?
Undoubtedly the Psalmist wrote down his poems using spiritual sense. In Psalm 36: 7,8 he poetizes about how much we are loved by God and how well we are sustained, every day, and it is here that he introduces a special river, the continuous flow of good - from God to His/Her entire creation, within creation, without end:
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. (KJV)
How priceless is your unfailing love, o God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast in the abundance of your house; you give them drink from the river of your delights. (NIVUK)
Of what great worth is your lovingkindness, O God! The children of men come and are safe in the shadow of your wings. They are filled with the riches of Your house. And you give them a drink from the river of joy."
This stream of goodness never ceases. It is showering healing, an open path, meaning into your experience - pleasure, delights, and joy into our being --- the effect of divine Love is a purifying, empowering, rinsing, cleaning action, every moment of our being.
We are planted by this river, at home in God's house, at home as children are in their parental home. And because we are so well equipped, it comes natural to move on the blessing and give and heal others. By the river of God's joy it comes easy to be grateful, because there is so much good for everyone. Here is a podcast I shared for the Daily Lift, a podcast series of the Christian Science Publishing Society: Being ready.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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