The Light of Christ
I WATCHED as the sunlight filled the room. It had been dark and gray all morning long when suddenly the clouds parted enough to let the sun's rays shine in, warming and brightening everything they touched. Most of us would agree that light is preferable to darkness. We see more clearly in light. Light is cheering and warming, it enables things to grow. Light connotes understanding, illumination, enlightenment, while darkness brings to mind doubt, fear, ignorance, hopelessness.Light is associated with Christ Jesus right from his birth in a humble, Bethlehem stable centuries ago. A star shining in the night led the wise men to his birthplace. And in the Gospel of Luke the Bible tells how the infant Jesus was described as "a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Jesus even referred to his mission by saying, as John's Gospel records, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. Jesus' whole life was darkness-dispelling, overcoming the limitations of uninspired thought, freeing from the enslaving beliefs of material law, healing sickness, sin, and death. His example of unselfishness and spirituality is a bright light shining in the darkness of materiality for all of mankind. And that light is still present with us today in the presence and the activity of the Christ. Christian Science teaches that Christ is the divine idea of God present both before and after Jesus' earthly career. It was Christ that enabled Jesus to heal so effectively. Christ is the divine idea that enlightens thought, that heals, uplifts, and inspires with the knowledge of God's goodness, His ever-presence and His allness, and His tender love for man, His image and likeness. The light of Christ appears in consciousness when we are humbly listening and ready to receive this Truth. And Christ is ever present to help and heal us whether we live in a small, rural African village, in a bustling European city, or wherever we are. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the spiritual idea,--the reflection of God,--h as come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth. I had a glimpse of the presence and healing power of the Christ one winter when I felt there was very little meaning in my life. I was working at a job that seemed dull and uninteresting to me. After a few months I began to feel that I needed more sleep. I was exhausted all the time. Then I found myself feeling very congested and unwell. I thought if I could only get more sleep, I would feel better. I stayed home from work and slept all day. But the sleep didn't make me feel any less exhausted. I found that all I wanted to do was sleep, both night and day. One evening I became very alarmed, as it seemed that if I went to sleep again I wouldn't wake up. At this point I called to ask a friend who was also a Christian Scientist to pray for me. With my friend's help, I realized very clearly that I had been believing that being unconscious was somehow desirable, satisfying, restorative, refreshing, or revitalizing. I needed to wake up from this, and realizing that we reflect these qualities of vitality and alertness from God, Life, as His image and likeness, helped me to do this. This enlightenment of the Christ broke the hypnotic desire to sleep excessively, and I soon felt well again. In a few months, I also found more satisfying employment . The light of Christ, Truth, is indeed present with us today and forever throughout the world, brightening and illumining the darkness of earth.