Happy Christmas!

The beloved Leader of the Christian Science movement, Mary Baker Eddy, on Christmas Day, 1909, wrote to her household that she wished them "a happy Christmas, a feast of Soul and a famine of sense" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 263). Mrs. Eddy's choice of words is ever arresting and thought-provoking. To wish one "a happy Christmas" and "a feast of Soul" would conform to a high standard of felicitous greeting, but is an appropriate Christmas sentiment clothed in the phrase "a famine of sense"? A thoughtful consideration of this question reveals the fact that the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science could not have given a happier or more inspirational Christmas greeting to her followers; but in order to grasp its full significance, the student must strive to understand better Mrs. Eddy's use of the words "happy," "Soul," and "sense."

For generations—yea, for centuries—the world has rung at each recurring Yuletide with the universal wish for a "Merry Christmas"; but far too often has the deeper meaning of this sacred festival been submerged in a mesmerism of temporary, material merriment, whereby the tone of true and abiding happiness, which ever should celebrate the coming of the saving, healing Christ, is lost. Mrs. Eddy, therefore, definitely points out for Christian Scientists and for all mankind a higher and more Scientific greeting when she wishes them "a happy Christmas." But how can this be obtained in a time of widespread misery, want, and fear? Can the suffering invalid, the man without a job, the mourner, the sinner disgusted with his sin, the fearing, or the solitary be wished, or can he hope to have, a happy Christmas? Even so; and, best of all, he can be shown in Christian Science how to have a truly happy Christmas on December 25 and three hundred and sixty-four other days each year.

"The fruit of the Spirit"
December 24, 1932

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