__A glorious day is dawning, and o'er the waking earth...
In dark and hidden places there shines the blessed light;
The beam of Truth displaces the darkness of the night.
Christian Science Hymnal, #2
As Christmas comes again, I find it interesting that we celebrate Christmas in December, even though Bible scholars generally agree that Jesus was probably born in the spring. Those of us in the northern hemisphere are experiencing the darkest of days, yet, in the Christian, Gnostic and Jewish traditions, we're commemorating and celebrating the presence of light.
___A couple of questions that we might ask are: What is the light we celebrate at Christmas? And why do we celebrate this light in the season of darkness?
The Bible explains the light of God as a present help. "Arise, shine for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1)
In hymns and carols, we sing of "the everlasting light," "the blessed light,” “the beam of Truth,” and the "perfect Light" of God.
The Christ is God's self-revealing Light, illumining His true nature as divine Love. This spiritual Light, or understanding of God, shows the beautiful and permanent relationship between God and His creation. It also helps us to discover ourselves as God's beloved and precious children - the children of Light.
There is so much cause for rejoicing!
_A friend and one of his employees were having a discussion about darkness. The employee was asserting that darkness is substance. Finally, to prove his point, my friend challenged him to bring in his "flash-dark", and my friend would bring in his flashlight. Then they would see which one would overpower the other.
Darkness isn't actual substance. It merely suggests an absence of light. Just as cold is not a real entity itself, but the absence of heat. Light displaces darkness and illumines what is already there. All it takes is one small beam of light to do the job.
The celebration of light during the darkest period of the year, for those in the northern hemisphere, illustrates the spiritual fact that there is no circumstance so dark and cold that the presence and power and God cannot reach us with his light of Love.
For our neighbors in the southern hemisphere - celebrating in the full glory of summer - a sunny and hot Christmas indicates the unfailing Christ light that brings help and healing, and leaves no one out.
_The first two verses of Phillips Brooks hymn "Oh, little town of Bethlehem", in the version found in the Christian Science Hymnal, beautifully explains how the Christ light may first appear as a gentle beam, but it ultimately shines in the full glory of day displacing all tinge of darkness.
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie;
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth;
Where charity stands watching
And faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes,
the glory breaks,
And Christmas comes once more.
Christian Science Hymnal, #222
The spiritual understanding of God through Christ meets and masters all fear and fulfills our best hopes. Jesus illustrated this understanding of God; and for this reason we give praise and celebrate his humble and timely appearing.
God bless us, everyone.
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