Monday, November 26, 2007

The Nativity and the Christmas Season

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving day, with a sweet church service, a delicious feast, and dessert with more family and friends. It was the start of a great weekend. The kids went camping and I had the house to myself for some quiet reflection. Then I put away Thanksgiving and set out Christmas decorations as I listened to Christmas music.

A few years ago I came across Mrs. Eddy's reference to the Nativity in Prose Works. She wrote: "It is most fitting that Christian Scientists memorize the nativity of Jesus". I took that to heart and spent the next year reading the nativity as it appears in the Gospels, the references from the Old Testament, and what Mrs. Eddy had to say. It was a year of appreciation for this holiest of stories. So I think I will share some of what I learned in the Blog over the next few weeks, along with insights from studying our weekly Bible lesson.

When I did my study I wrote down the elements of the Nativity and then each month studied parts of it. For me, the essence of the Nativity is the prophecies, the angels, the shepherds, the Magi, the star, Mary and Joseph. Tomorrow I will start with the prophecies.

This week's Bible lesson is all about "How Not to be Fooled' by the suggestions of mortal mind or what Mrs. Eddy calls animal magnetism. Hypnotism was very much the rage in her day and was studied by scientific committees with members like Benjamin Franklin. Mesmerists attracted huge crowds. Seances were a popular evening entertainment. Mrs. Eddy helps us handle the power of suggestion twice a year, when this topic comes up in the rotation.

This time the emphasis is on seeing that there is one God and His creation and nothing else. No other power. We are reminded of how He protects us with selections from the 91st Psalm. I worked today with the references to 'noisome pestilence' and 'snare of the fowler'. Those are malicious speech or the destroying word, that which cuts and stings. We don't want to be on the receiving end or, heaven forbid, the one speaking that way. Nothing else is present but good and with good filling all space nothing evil can happen to you. You also cannot be caught by subliminal advertising, or blantant efforts to influence your spending. You cannot get caught up in some soap opera view of life, for yourself or for your friends. You cannot be tempted to try fad diets.

My favorite sentence this week is "God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power". What an amazing concept.

Go in peace.

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