For me, Christmas, more than New Year's, is all about a fresh start. Any move in a new direction begins with a thought open and receptive to changing, to responding, to growing. When thought shifts, lives tend to follow. And the Christmas season gives us so much opportunity to shift away from fear and limitation and the mundane sameness of everyday and to reflect on the Christ.
As one considers the living presence of the power of God, Good, mental doors can open to His divine light, His multi-colored, many-faceted opportunities, and His healing influence. A Christmas of new views can lead to a New Year of sparkle - of unfolding good.
Christmas 2003 had been a quiet one. I had been widowed a few years and was settled in a new home. Our daughter was now an adult. My life had become simplified and settled, and I felt that room was being made for something new but I wasn't sure what it would be. I was feeling hesitant and a little afraid. So, during December, I had begun to study Jesus' life - reading the gospels and acquainting myself more with his healing mission - to open myself to the power of Christ in my own life.
_Early on in my study, I was particularly taken with the authority and serenity of the Wisemen who followed a star without knowing exactly where it would lead. Impelled by divine Light, they found what they were looking for: the hope of the world in the baby Jesus. They followed that star without hesitancy or fear and they were kept safe from danger. Their discovery of the babe marked a new beginning for them. How could they return to their oriental cities the same as when they left?
This spiritual study in December was just what I needed to prepare for a last minute voyage that was decided on for January. I was invited to go to Paris with a friend. It would be my first time visiting the City of Lights. Although I didn't speak a word of French, I was confident that my needs would be met. In fact, without realizing it, that Paris trip was a turning point in many ways. While there, the thought came, "You could live here one day, if you would like."
I hadn't sought this idea out. I was just aware of an opening in my heart and a ready invitation in my thought: "Consider the possibilities of a bigger life. Be open to the world. Follow divine light and you will be safe."
_I realized I had nothing to fear in opening myself to a life that included new experiences, new places, even a new language. I could go anywhere and do anything, actually. It occured to me that in the omnipresence of divine Good, anywhere is equally the "right place" for a child of God.
When I came home I started taking French lessons.
Actually, it was another year before I really thought seriously about moving to France. I wasn't interested in pushing forward a big change. But if a move was coming, I was open to it and no longer afraid.
Simply taking French lessons added a beautiful facet to daily living. But over the course of the next two years, French lessons led to a meeting, the meeting led to a friendship and ultimately a new marriage, and step-by-step I realized how significant was that openness and willingness to set aside fear and to accept changes and new beginnings.
When I read these words of Mary Baker Eddy, I think of the spirit of the Wisemen. We know so little about them and yet I can imagine the pure joy they must have felt in following that star knowing that something new and wonderful, even if still hidden to the human eye, was about to appear.
"We live in an age of Love's divine adventure to be All-in-all. This day is the natal hour of my lone earth life; and for all mankind to-day hath its gloom and glory: it endureth all things; it points to the new birth, heaven here, the struggle over; it profits by the past and joys in the present — to-day lends a new-born beauty to holiness, patience, charity, love." (First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, p.158)
In the natal hour of the Christmas season, what new things is the Christ revealing to you? What fears and limits are ripe to drop away? What divine adventure is Love preparing for you?
My Christmas wish today is that you feel the confidence and joy that comes from knowing that God, through His precious Christ, is working in you today and leading you forward. Be open to the sparkle of divine good.
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no