It was the first Monday in December at 11:00 a.m. You wouldn’t think this little annex of the post office would be crowded—but it was. The line was about 10 people deep when I got there, but quickly grew longer. Yes, it looked like we were going to be there awhile; it was great!
Great?! I know, it sounds odd. But over the years, I have found that the crowd in line at the post office during the holidays is unusually festive. This time of year, seems to bring out the patience, calm, and good will in people. Just like other years, the Christmas spirit was alive and well as we waited to mail our packages and buy our holiday stamps.
In fact, one of the women in line shared with us that her husband works in Canada—quite a distance from here in Colorado. She stays here and takes care of the children and home while he commutes back and forth. With payday not quite in reach, and her husband in Canada with the only credit card they had, the furnace broke. Quite a predicament in chilly Colorado! When her neighbor found out, he immediately offered to pay for all of the repairs until they were in a position to reimburse him. She asked all of us if we could believe that?! She was overjoyed at her neighbor’s generosity, kindness, and immediate help. She felt it was a great example of the Christmas spirit.
We all agreed, and it made me think about how the Christmas spirit could be described as the “on earth peace, good will toward men” tangibly felt and, many times, acted on this time of year.
My thought went back over the centuries to when those words were first spoken. Shepherds were tending their flocks one night, when out of the starry darkness, an angel appeared to them. It shared with them the good news that a Savior, the Christ child, had been born. Then a multitude of heavenly messengers showed up and praised God saying those words we hear so often this time of year, “On earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
Peace and good will are natural effects of the presence of the Christ. Christ is the divine title of Jesus, and also his spiritual identity. “This Christ, or divinity of the man Jesus, was his divine nature, the godliness which animated him” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 12).
I like to think that the divine nature that animated Jesus, is the same godliness that’s animating each of us today. The Christ never had a beginning, nor will it ever have an end. Christ Jesus spoke of this when he said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). Mrs. Eddy put it this way, “Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of the Messiah, or Christ, which baptized these seers in the divine nature, the essence of Love.” (Science and Health, p. 333).
This essence of Love is like a message from God to each one of us, reaffirming our spiritual nature as His beloved son or daughter. In fact, Mrs. Eddy describes this aspect of the Christ as, “…the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (Science and Health, p. 332).
So, this divine message directly from God, is more than a feely-good moment that moves us to do things like donate food to a nearby food bank, although that impulsion is included. It points our thought upward to more spiritual ways of seeing ourselves, others, and the world; and that brings healing. It brings healing because once we understand more of our completely spiritual identity, the effects of matter-based thinking—sickness, lack, and chaos—just don’t fit with what God, divine Love is telling us about ourselves, and therefore, those effects disappear.
The Christ message comforts, guides, restores, redeems, and leads us to healing. Knowing this, we can rejoice with Paul in the Bible when he said, “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift”
(2 Corinthians 9:15).
I hope these insights will inspire readers to think more spiritually about themselves and the world around them!