In St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians, he presents in a wonderful way the allness and fulness of the Christ-idea, and says, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday ... which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." Even at that early date in the history of Christianity there was a disposition on the part of some to retain many of the forms and observances to which they had seen accustomed, whether Jews or Greeks, and thus to obscure the simplicity and power of a purely spiritual religion. With wonderful clearness Paul refers to outward forms as types and shadows, and in the Epistle quoted he asks, "If ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances?"

The great apostle was contending here for the freedom of all Christians from whatever tended to hold them subject to materiality or any of the requirements of the "fleshly mind." This misnamed mind has ever been a deceiver, and under the guise of observing "holy days" has led mortals away from the service of Spirit, God,—an error which was rebuked by the prophet Isaiah, who said that the true observance of an "holy day" was not in "finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words," but rather in undoing "the heavy burdens;" letting "the oppressed go free;" and in dealing "thy bread to the hungry." Thus doing, says the prophet, we shall honor God and "delight" ourselves in Him. He adds, "Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer ... and the Lord shall guide thee continually."

It is too true that mortal sense has ever led men to make of the holy day a holiday in which to indulge selfishness and a false sense of pleasure, with the inevitable result of disappointment and vain regret, which teach no real lessons; it is Truth alone that can do this. In Christian Science we are learning to give up an uncertain, an unreal sense of pleasure for a perennial peace which ofttimes blossoms into joy. Our anniversaries become indeed holy days when we no longer mourn over lost friends or lost opportunities, but when, instead, we pause to view "all the way" by which Love has led us on our journey from sense to Soul. If we have failed in learning some lesson in the past years, we may master the problem in the clearer light of to-day, for divine Love waits ever to help us to the final victory over all that is unlike God. To Christian Scientists the supreme gift of Love is the understanding of Christ, Truth, by which every victory over evil—sin, disease, and death—must be gained, and by this understanding and these victories each day becomes a holy day.

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December 22, 1906

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