In all history there is nothing more beautiful than the story of the nativity. In the dead of night, when the rest of the world was wrapped in sleep, a band of shepherds and three wise men saw a great light, and led thereby came to worship at the manger where the young child lay who was to bring heaven down to human sense by overcoming the ills which denied the ever-presence of divine Love and Truth.

While considering the story the thought occurred of how vividly it is repeated in the history of every Christian Science church and society. May not each one of these be likened to the manger, the humble shrine which holds the Christ-idea? And the sleeping world! Is not mortal mind as fast asleep now as then—oblivious to the light, deaf to the cry, "On earth peace, good will toward men"? And now as of old, who gather round the manger "to greet the new appearing"? First and foremost "the poor in spirit,"—"the receptive thought" (Science and Health, p. 34),—the sick and sorrowful, those who have little to lose and much to gain. The kings of the earth are not quick to see the star and follow it. The shepherds were a company unnumbered, but there were only three wise men! Jesus said: "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God," and of all his pregnant sayings surely none is truer than this. Wealth, success, mere physical health, beauty, genius; such as these do not readily seek the manger. The three wise men had a long way to travel, but they desired with a great desire the spiritual riches, and hence sought and found the Christ-idea.

Again, what are the gifts that are brought to the holy child? Gold and frankincense and myrrh. How wonderfully history repeats itself! The bitter myrrh may seem a strange gift to find at the altar of Truth—Truth clothed in light, with the singing birds of hope around her; and yet myrrh is never absent, for it typifies "the persecutions which attend a new and higher understanding of God" (Jbid., p. 33). Frankincense stands for prayer; and those who come to Christian Science learn not only the true meaning of prayer, but its practical demonstration in the healing of the sick and the reformation of the sinning. Mrs. Eddy tells us that "desire is prayer" (Ibid., p. 1), and it is that pure desire which each must bring to the Christ.

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July 22, 1911

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