What is the true meaning of Christmas — does it matter what you are celebrating?

Hi everyone,

I am going to begin doing my own blog every week beginning with this Christmas one that I have wanted to write for a very long time! I hope you will join me and begin following these blogs and share them with others.

This “holiday season” (formerly called Christmas) is very special to people all over the world. In an effort to include everyone, many people have mistakenly eliminated the word Christmas and any reference to Christ Jesus because of a lack of understanding of the universal nature of the Christ love and the significance of Jesus’ virgin birth to all mankind.

The virgin birth of Jesus, celebrated over the centuries, demonstrates that God, Spirit, is the real Father of every single one of us (whether we call ourselves atheists, Catholic, Baptist, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, etc.) and we are therefore each the precious, beloved child of this infinite divine Love, called God.

Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Those instructed in Christian Science have reached the glorious perception that God is the only author of man. The Virgin-mother conceived this idea of God, and gave to her ideal the name of Jesus — that is, Joshua, or Saviour. The illumination of Mary’s spiritual sense put to silence material law and its order of generation, and brought forth her child by the revelation of Truth, demonstrating God as the Father of men.” [Marginal Note: Spiritual conception] (S&H 29:14-24)

Christ Jesus’ message to all mankind is that the Kingdom of God (peace, health, purity, wholeness, goodness) is already within us, thus fulfilling the promise of Genesis 1, which says we are each made in the divine image and likeness. None of us can ever be separated from this omnipotent, ever-present Love. Jesus also taught that since Spirit, divine Love is the source of all true peace and harmony, then the way to see this peace manifested in our lives is to embrace everyone in this divine Love which he embodied.

Never before had anyone taught: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. . . . Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:44, 45, 48).

He demonstrated this by laying down his own life for others and forgiving even his enemies on the cross. And this love enabled him to triumph over hate and death in a way that no one else has ever done before or since. And yet he said that anyone who followed his teaching would be able to demonstrate this peace and wholeness in their own lives as well.

This is why Christmas carols celebrate Jesus as the “Prince of Peace”. His message of love and peace transcend mere human love, which can sometimes be unreliable, deceitful, short-lived, manipulative, or self-serving. The spiritual love which was illustrated in the life of Christ Jesus is the only love which can bring an end to violence, hate and suffering. This Love is unconditional, unchanging, pure, unselfish, and compassionate to all because it is based on an understanding of our inherent goodness and perfection as God’s beloved creation. But more importantly, since this Love is divine and not human, it is all-powerful and ever present, so evil cannot stand in the face of it.

Movies such as “Love actually” present Christmas as a time to celebrate human and sensual love with no mention of Christ Jesus, and yet human love has never been able to insure happiness and peace, and sensuality often leads to suffering or even death. This message is actually the antithesis of the true meaning of Christmas because the Christ love never leads to infidelity, divorce, abuse, disease, or death as human and sensual love may. The Christ love is actually the only kind of love that can insure peace, health and harmony in our lives. That is because God, Spirit, is the only true source of Love and God is absolute good, in whom is no evil.

The purposeful elimination of Christ Jesus from this Christmas celebration and the continual criticisms of Christians today are simply modern day manifestations of the Herod thought which attempted to kill the baby Jesus in order to silence his message. People who are not religious do not hesitate to quote, acknowledge or even revere people from Eastern religions, while silencing the message of the Christ. To sideline true Christianity and the true meaning of Christmas is to deprive the world of a unique message that heals and insures peace for all.

The true meaning of Christmas is that God, infinite good, divine Love is the Father of all of us and protects and prospers each one of us. As in Biblical times, the advent of this Christ message in the flesh as the baby Jesus (coming not from a sexual act but from the Holy Spirit active in the human experience revealing man’s true spiritual nature) can bring hope, security, freedom and peace today to people in Syria, Egypt, North Korea, DR Congo; in prisons, brothels, war fields; in governments, schools, homes. The Christ message is irresistible and cannot be silenced. It cannot fail to bring healing and peace to hearts open to its message. No one is excluded. This is the most precious gift we can be giving our families, friends and the world this season! Let’s cherish this “babe of Christian healing” this Christmas!

Other references from the Writings of Mary Baker Eddy and the Bible:
Miscellaneous Writings p. 370:12 (Mis.)
John 20:17
Matt 6:9
Science and Health, 31:4-11
Unity of Good p. 29:28
Mis. 161:1 – 168:20

8 thoughts on “What is the true meaning of Christmas — does it matter what you are celebrating?

  1. Because of Sandy, we are without a home to put the accroutrements of Christmas in, and our two sons are going in different directions this year. But we are more deeply appreciating all the Christly expressions of good that have been shown to us during the last months. We are assured that God is caring for us, under all circumstances!

    • Thank you so much, Joanne, for sharing your poignant example of how the Christ works through individuals to bless and uplift in challenging times. Often Christmas takes on more meaning in times like this, when the focus is not on material things, but rather on the Christ love be shared with us. May your Christmas Day be filled with this Christ love!

    • Dear Joanne,
      I failed to ask, do you have a place to stay during this time? It sounds like people have been stepping up to offer support in the true Christ-spirit, but are you still facing challenges?

      Before Mary Baker Eddy discovered the Science of the Christ which lifts us out of these challenges, she was homeless for a long period of time going from boarding house to boarding house. She wrote in a poem entitled, “Christ my refuge”: “And o’er earth’s troubled angry sea, I see Christ walk, and come to me and tenderly divinely talk. Thus Truth engrounds me on the Rock upon Life’s shore, ‘gainst which the winds and waves can shock, oh nevermore.”

      Many years later, she wrote a poem called “Satisfied”. It was the turn of the new century, January 1900. Although she was about to face the worst storms yet in her life, by then she had triumphed in so many ways and her healing message was beginning to help millions of people around the world. She had come to realize that God, divine Love, meets every human need, so even in the face of severe challenges, we can remain at peace. This is her poem:

      It matters not what be thy lot,
      So Love doth guide;
      For storm or shine, pure peace is thine,
      Whate’er betide.

      And of these stones, or tyrants’ thrones,
      God able is
      To raise up seed — in thought and deed —
      To faithful His.

      Aye, darkling sense, arise, go hence!
      Our God is good.
      False fears are foes — truth tatters those,
      When understood.

      Love looseth thee, and lifteth me,
      Ayont hate’s thrall:
      There Life is light, and wisdom might,
      And God is All.

      The centuries break, the earth-bound wake,
      God’s glorified!
      Who doth His will, His likeness still,
      Is satisfied.”

  2. John Yemma’s Editorial View in today’s Christian Science Monitor Daily Briefing also has a wonderful message about the power of the Christmas message to address the world’s challenges:
    “Day after day, we circle the Monopoly board, buying and selling, getting taxed and paying rent. In our parliaments and on news shows, around the office or at the dinner table – even within our own heads – we debate everything from economics to energy poli- cy, smart phones to sports rivalries. If we are reason- able, we see both sides of an argument. But that can immobilize and polarize us. Will higher taxes croak the economy or balance the budget? Do social programs help the poor or foster dependency? Would reining in weapons and violent entertainment make children safer, or is the answer stronger fami- lies and a more attentive community? The debate rolls on and on.
    And yet every human has a “get out of jail free” card, a pass that lifts us out of mortal strife. By tradition, we celebrate our having received it 2,012 years ago tomorrow with a birth in Bethlehem. But it is timeless. It comes as inspiration, as a glimpse at a more benevolent reality. It can break gridlock, improve lives, and make the world gentler. It is a gift that is waiting for us on Christmas morning and every other morning. All we have to do is open it.”
    John Yemma, editor@csmonitor.com

  3. Thank you sooo much, Christine! RE: “People who are not religious do not hesitate to quote, acknowledge or even revere people from Eastern religions, while silencing the message of the Christ.” Sorry to say, I have heard “religious” Christians themselves, quote, acknowledge, or revere Eastern religions, as well as other religions and philosophies. The upside is that it’s good to recognize God in everything. However, the downside is that it seems as though covetousness is at the core of these acknowledgements. As if there’s an “if only I were a member of …” undertone. This! – without having explored their own Christianity more deeply, especially that aspect of healing all the ills that flesh is heir to. I am so grateful for Christian Science that opens up the infinite possibilities of Christianity with Christian healing as viable proof of God as Love above all and All. RE: “The Christ message is irresistible and cannot be silenced.” …especially when we Christian Scientists are proving its healing efficacy through our own life experiences! RE: “This is the most precious gift we can be giving our families, friends and the world this season! Let’s cherish this “babe of Christian healing” this Christmas!” Yes!!! Again, thank you, Christine.

    • You’re right, Nela. If people would explore more deeply true Christianity and the universal nature of the Science of Christ, they would find it embraces all mankind and enables everyone to be a healer.

      Mary Baker Eddy expected this Science to bless ministers, doctors, teachers, business leaders, politicians:
      “Christian Science is not only the acme of Science but the crown of Christianity. It is universal. It appeals to man as man; to the whole and not to a portion; to man physically, as well as spiritually, and to all mankind. It has one God. It demonstrates the divine Principle, rules and practice of the great healer and master of metaphysics, Jesus of Nazareth. It spiritualizes religion and restores its lost element, namely, healing the sick. It consecrates and inspires the teacher and preacher; it equips the doctor with safe and sure medicine; it encourages and empowers the business man and secures the success of honesty. It is the dear children’s toy and strong tower; the wise man’s spiritual dictionary; the poor man’s money; yea, it is the pearl priceless whereof our Master said, if a man findeth, he goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth it. Buyeth it! ” Mis. Writings 252:17

      “When the Science of being is universally understood, every man will be his own physician, and Truth will be the universal panacea.” Science and Health, page 144:27.

  4. Dear Christine: How wonderful is this reminder of yours! I want to say “Amen” and “Hallelujah”! I have always been struck by your consistent extension to all. Your invitations are always to all. And this universal parenthood is, once again, one of your many firm validations of your conviction and understanding of His Divine love for all creation as well as your great love for Christian Science. John Yemma’s point becomes clear; and the right stand becomes unquestionable; moreover a ‘gentle’ and peaceful world is not such a farfetched goal. That quote from Mrs. Eddy’s writings was exhilarating! As a line from a famous hymn reads: “Jew or gentile, man or woman no more…” and so we understand this in your fine explanation of Christmas…”God, infinite good, divine Love is the Father of all of us and protects and prospers each one of us”

    • Thank you. Magdalene, for writing! For some reason, it just now appeared in my e-mail one year later! The more of us who recognize there is only one family–the family of infinite divine Love–and we are all a part of this family, the sooner we will find peace amd healing!

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