“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3: 16).
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19: 16, 17).
“But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49: 14-17 to ;).
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31: 3).
On planet Earth, we live in repetitive cycles. Each year, we come again to December and Christmas—a time that marks the birth-date of Jesus the Christ. For Christians, it’s a time of gratitude for that special son of God, (Jesus) who brought into this world of physical mortality, the message of spiritual, eternal life for all—a message which denies the material limits we so accept. So, this joyful message lifts our spirits, and we lovingly remember the one who brought it.
Christmas is supposed to be a happy time for everyone. Whatever one’s religious beliefs, the season can be a time of holiday festivities and joy, family bonding, and a joining in the spirit of love for our neighbors and strangers alike. Thus, gift-giving is often a large part of the celebration for both Christians and non-Christians. We like to give presents to our loved ones. Yet, Christmas gift-giving can sometimes be done for the wrong reasons, such as trying to erase guilt. (I don’t remember the title, but there’s a Christmas song that says something like, ‘Those little gifts you send on Christmas day, will not bring back the friend you turned away.’)
So, with all the commercialism of Christmas, and all the stress involved with buying presents for a long list of people, we often miss the whole point of the message Jesus tried to bring to the world: the truth of God’s active Love for each and every one of Its children—past, present and still to be born into the human scene. That spiritual message of our Father/Mother’s eternal, ever-present love for us, delivered through our spiritual brother, Christ Jesus, was the real gift for us to receive from God’s hands. Throughout his ministry, Jesus always preached the message of God’s goodness and love. (Notice in quotation, Matthew 19: 16 & 17 shown at top of article, that Jesus attributes all goodness to, not himself, but to God, showing that he was doing God’s work on Earth, not his own.)
God’s eternal love is God’s eternal good will toward each of us. This ever-lasting, loving will of God is what (I believe) the term ‘God’s grace’ means. It’s the loving-without-exception that is God’s good will toward each and every identity in creation, not just at special times, but all the time. It’s a divine love that forgives all sins, or destructive behavior, that we each commit in this false, material sense of existence. Ironically, it’s the goodness of this Love that we can’t seem to fathom. We just feel, deep down, that we don’t deserve forgiveness. We often cling to our sins and destructions as part of us—while God sees the pure, spiritually awakened children of his divinely, perfect inheritance.
So, if our freedom from guilt is hard to accept, consider this: Realizing that humanity lives in a deluded, material state of thought about spiritual reality, the divine Intelligence, Wisdom and Love holds nothing against us. Once we’ve turned our back on our seeming ‘dark side’ and stopped any harm we may be humanly causing, God’s wisdom provides for us and guides us, mentally, in making any corrections we may need to make concerning those we’ve harmed. When we turn to our higher consciousness within, the Christ Mind or Christ Consciousness (which Jesus was trying to awaken in the carnally or materially minded) we receive the thoughts necessary to reform ourselves of our misdeeds. We are shown a way to fix things.
In the biblical story of the prodigal son (Luke 15: 11-32) there is a phrase used to illustrate what I mean. After the wayward son wasted all his own supply from his father, it said “he came to himself” (Luke 15: 17). In other words, he remembered who he really was, and who his father really was. This remembrance brought his repentance, and his father received him with the love that was always there.
We err in our behavior toward others because our self-image is that of a material person, whose first law must be to protect itself. In the name of human survival of the body and material personality, we lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, covet whatever our neighbors have, and some of us even kill with justification. (Prisons are full of murderers and molesters who believe they had to do it for some obscure reason of self-defense or mental self-preservation.)
Even when we’re not self-protecting, we often experience troublesome human situations that come upon us without invitation. Only a few weeks ago, my husband and I became embroiled in a situation with an organization the defied our best efforts to resolve. Nothing we could think of seemed to solve the problem. Even when I prayed about it, no solution came forth. I remember thinking, “This is just beyond me!”
We were on a time schedule for fixing it, and when the last day arrived, I was still clinging to God’s love to reveal to us, in consciousness, what to do. All that came to my thought was to let go of the whole thing and know that nothing could separate us from the love of God. “Just go forward with the day and know that nothing is beyond God’s ability to handle,” the quiet thought in consciousness said.
Sure enough, within the two hour deadline for fixing it, we casually met three people, all strangers to us, who each led us to the solution by telling us things we didn’t know about the situation. This new information changed everything for us, and the problem was completely fixed.
Consciousness is our link to God. We actually “live, and move, and have our being,” (Acts 17: 28) within the divine Intelligence and Spirit of God, so this divine Intelligence communicates with us through thought. But we have to pray within consciousness and then listen very carefully to the thoughts that come to us after such a prayer. It’s like opening a mental door, and holding it open for a friend to walk in. We don’t ask, and then close the door, filling our mind with other thoughts of the day, on other subjects. We recognize that the divine Presence is always with us to communicate, when asked, and we keep mentally focused on this Presence.
God loves us eternally, before Christmas time even was. God loved his children before Jesus made his appearance in the material scene. The Master’s mission was to bring and expound this message to all generations of mankind. Each year, we allow the repetitive cycle of Christmas to reconnect us to God’s love and promise that eternal life is ours—not in some distant future or new state of being, but now and for all time. Spiritually we cannot die. But we have to remember who we are (God’s own spiritual children) and where we are (the invisible Kingdom of God). Otherwise, we will fear that physical death is the annihilation of our soul’s body and mind, when it isn’t.
Christmas time can be a time for joy and good will toward all those we know, and those strangers we’re soon to meet. But Christmas time is the best of times, when we realize that incredible love of God for each of us, which goes above and beyond all boundaries of time. We don’t have wait for that to cycle around.