Visits from friends and family. Sharing gifts. Decorated trees. Candles and lights. Music and singing. Is there more?
Yes, while all these Christmas expectations are delightful, spiritual expectations heal. The holidays can be filled with evidence of God's love for each of us. Do you count on seeing signs of God's love during the holidays, such as forgiveness, kindness shown to others, the giving of time to those in need, and inspiration? How about healing?
Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ Jesus. And he gave us a most precious gift: the promise of God's love. He proved that this love heals those in need. For example, the Bible tells that a leper came to Jesus and said, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." Putting his hand out to the man and touching him, Jesus said, "I will; be thou clean." Then, the Bible says, "And immediately his leprosy was cleansed" (Matt. 8:2, 3).
Lepers were outcasts. Yet Jesus knew God must have made that man in His image and likeness (see Gen. 1:26). God is incorporeal. He is Spirit. Therefore His sons and daughters are incorporeal, spiritual. Any disease is predicated on the belief that we are fundamentally made up of physical matter instead of being spiritual, the reflection of God, of Spirit, which is the only real substance. Jesus healed by seeing individuals as God sees them. And God knows us to be as perfect as He is.
Was spiritual healing limited to the time Jesus was here on earth? His own words declare not. He promised, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12). We can expect to heal today by understanding our spiritual perfection.
The Christian Science textbook says, "The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," Pg. xi). Christian Science has brought me views of the spiritual message of the Bible and shown me the reality of healing today through reliance on God alone.
Last Christmas, what we've been discussing here took on new meaning for me. I had enjoyed decorating our Christmas tree, fun times with family and friends, and giving gifts. I'd also taken quiet time to pray and read more about healing spiritually. But on Christmas Day, I found myself lying on the sofa with the symptoms of stomach flu. That evening my husband and I had plans to go to a quaint restaurant in the country for Christmas dinner. He had been looking forward to this all day.
I turned to God and listened for His voice. My thought changed from being centered on myself and my body to being focused on God's goodness and love. Christian Science had taught me that divine Love is the only power and that God's love for us as His sons and daughters does not fluctuate. God's love is constant. Our holidays can't be interrupted by illness when we realize that God's love for us is not interrupted. As we begin to see ourselves as the loved child of God - made in His image and likeness - a spiritualization of thought takes place. And this brings physical healing.
My desire really was to be unselfish and loving. I told my husband I would get dressed and go. (I didn't think I would be eating, however!) I continued to pray to be unselfish and to trust God.
The drive to the restaurant took 30 minutes. And by the time we arrived, I was healed! I ordered a full course meal and enjoyed it immensely. It was a precious time spent with my husband. And I was grateful that I had expected good and thanked God for His loving care.
When you celebrate Christmas this year, remember the spiritual gifts you have from God. They bring healing. The gift of God's love can be felt through thoughts of unselfishness and gratitude. It can be expressed in acts of forgiveness, kindness, and joyfulness. God loves you unconditionally as His perfect child. You can expect to feel this love at Christmas - and all year through.