The central theme of the beautiful story of the birth of Jesus, which we celebrate at Christmas, is one of salvation. The angel message to the shepherds was (Luke 2:10, 11): "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." So we may say that Christmas is not our Christmas until the Christ-idea, the saving manifestation of God, has been born in our hearts. When we have awakened to the desire to heal and save humanity, then the Christ-idea has been conceived in us and will be brought forth to increase "in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man" (verse 52).

The chief characteristic of the Christ in human experience is healing. Jesus went about healing, teaching, and preaching. His preaching was always attended by healing, and his message was (Mark 1:15), "The kingdom of God is at hand," not beyond the grave in a vague hereafter, but here and now. Jesus actually lived in the kingdom of God all the time he seemed to be on earth, and from this kingdom of heaven he healed and saved, even as the sun warms the earth and causes it to bring forth and bud by remaining in the heavens above. So the Christ-idea shining upon the world of beliefs dispels these with the light of Truth and causes the beauty of holiness to spring forth.

Christian Science teaches us to read aright the symbols of human history. The adoration of the Bethlehem babe symbolizes the worship of innocence and purity. And what we dwell upon becomes our conscious experience. To guard our consciousness from contamination with evil is a constant demand. Our consciousness of the Christ needs to be saved from the Herods of erroneous beliefs. Therefore acknowledgment of the Christly qualities of innocence and purity is a daily necessity and not merely a feast to be celebrated once a year.

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December 15, 1956

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