A year crowned with goodness
The holiday decorations went up earlier than usual in 2020 (at least in our neighborhood). As they now get stored away for the next 11 months, it occurs to me there may well be some lingering reflections of their hopeful sparkle to carry into—and through—the new year.
Admittedly, there remain looming elements of sickness, danger, entrenched self-interest, etc. But to the extent that our resolutions and aspirations for 2021 reflect higher—that is, more spiritual—goals, we can help forward progress, peace, health, fairness, and compassion in our world. Our prayers can help the “peace on earth, good will toward men” celebrated during the holidays find their way more fully into thought and activity all through the new year—starting right now.
Through my study and practice of Christian Science, I’ve come to appreciate more and more the lasting nature of spiritual blessings. Because God, good, is supreme, there is no power that can rob us of the richness and fullness of the blessings God imparts to each of us. The Bible offers this promise of God’s love: “Thou crownest the year with thy goodness” (Psalms 65:11).
Recently, I asked myself the question, When does this crowning take place: at the year’s end or beginning? I saw that the answer is both—and all through the middle, too! God is always crowning every year with goodness. Thinking back to last year, and to the difficulties that lie ahead, we may find ourselves wondering if we can really describe either the previous or the coming years as “crowned with goodness.” Again, the answer is yes, to both.
Amid the untold hardships of the year just finished, there has also been moving evidences of the courage, fortitude, compassion, intelligence, insight to find solutions and answers, and other qualities that God has given us—crowned us with. As divine Love itself, God expresses goodness and care in all of us. As the new year opens, through prayer we can take solid hold of that divine goodness, and play our part in radiating God’s truth and love outward. In this way, we help our communities feel the crowning embrace of infinite Love.
Some years ago, our family discovered how a genuine need can be crowned with goodness in advance, and how we see it when trusting in God’s infinitely loving, healing presence. Our growing family needed a different home, but there was such tension—financially and emotionally—about the whole idea that it was eroding family harmony and progress.
Cherishing divine Love’s universal, infallible goodness can become an unfailing guide day by day, year by year.
When we finally did begin searching for a different home, we just couldn’t find one that met our needs. Earnestly, we reached out in prayer to God. As we did, we began to let divine Love, rather than fear or willfulness, shape our motives and guide our path. This enabled us to better perceive God’s grace as already present, always in operation, and blessing us each step of the way.
The tension lifted, and in time an unexpected opportunity arose to purchase a home that met our family’s needs perfectly. It was a unique solution because the sellers wished to purchase our home, which perfectly met their own needs. The transaction helped all involved in wonderful ways.
A lasting takeaway from our relocation experience was that cherishing divine Love’s universal, infallible goodness can become an unfailing guide day by day, year by year. And this applies to problems of all kinds, whether large or small.
Nothing unlike pure, infinite goodness ever comes from God, including disease, division, hatred, injustice, or any other form of discord. Realizing the spiritual fact that we are made and forever maintained in God’s image, spiritual and entirely cared for, gives us a truer sense of security and more lasting health and harmony. Affirming in prayer that God is infinitely good, we draw nearer to the Divine and become ever more certain about God’s readiness and ability to provide everything we need.
The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote on New Year’s morning in 1910,
O blessings infinite!
O glad New Year!
Sweet sign and substance
Of God’s presence here.
(The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 354)
Each wish for a “Happy New Year” carries with it the potential to foreshadow uncompromised blessings in 2021. What encouragement we can find in knowing that even such a simple phrase, when undergirded by spiritual conviction, offers a crowning vision of the goodness of the Christ, divine Truth, making itself known and felt among our friends and neighbors.