The Spirit of Christmas

Throughout the world Christians are aware of a joyous spirit which pervades the atmosphere during the Christmas season. Something of the heaviness which so commonly accompanies human experience is thrown off, and for a time at least joy takes the place of depression, and the light of love and gratitude lightens the darkness of doubt and fear. Why this phenomenon? What is there in the Christmas season which works so great a change in the mental attitude of the Christian world? Answer to these questions involves a resume at least of the mission of Christ Jesus, a review of his life and works, an evaluation of his message to mankind.

Christians have long believed that Jesus was sent of God to expiate the sins of the world through his death on the cross; that he saves the sinning through the atonement; that acceptance of his teachings and discipleship with him lead to forgiveness of sin and the kingdom of heaven. To all Christians, whatever their denominational beliefs, Jesus is the blessed Saviour, the burden-bearer for all mankind, the object of deepest reverence and most profound worship. It is for these reasons that Christendom so generally celebrates the occasion of his birth.

Christian Scientists hold Christ Jesus in deepest reverence, as worthy of all homage. To them he is the personal Saviour, Messiah, and Way-shower, because he has shown to all humanity the way out of the bondage of the flesh into the understanding of man's spiritual and perfect state as the son of God. He showed the way which all must follow. Did he not declare in plainest terms, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me"? Understanding and accepting his message and following in his way, the way of Spirit, are the only means of salvation. He showed the way, but each must follow it. Salvation is not won vicariously, through the suffering of another, but by one's persistent and consecrated adherence to the Christ-ideal.

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December 21, 1929

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