December 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm #51600
What’s the biggest Christmas related lesson you’ve ever learned?December 21, 2011 at 10:05 am #52052
No one’s learned anything connected to Christmas???
One Christmas a few years back I learned what real forgiveness feels like…I was the one being forgiven and it was during a time that I was doing a lot of forgiving (sometimes it was like pulling nails for me, but I persisted). This time I felt the real grace behind forgiveness. It was incredibly lovely and it made it easier for me to do the forgiving ever after.December 21, 2011 at 1:06 pm #52068
I don’t have any one specific thing, but each year I re-read an article by Gordon Clarke that talks about the vision of Christmas. In particular, he talks about each of us coming to where the young child was. Here’s a quote:
“To come to ‘where the young child was.’ This phrase means so much more than going to a stable in Bethlehem. It means finding the child of God in you. It means finding that the child of God in you always was in you and always will be in you. It means coming to find that the man begotten of God is the only man you really are.”
Before that quote he talks about Jesus also coming to where the young child was–coming to the realization that “the only begotten son is man as man really is–perfect and harmonious.”
Of course, this realization isn’t just for Christmas time–it’s ongoing–but I have a heightened sense of it when the story of the birth of Jesus is so much in thought.December 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm #52090
Christmas one year ago was actually the first time I taught Sunday School. The subject of the lesson was of course “Christian Science.” I started the conversation asking the kids what they think of when they think of Christmas. One of them said she had a relative who is Episcopalian (can’t remember if it was her father, or grandfather, or uncle, but it was somebody like that), so what their family did each year was to attend the Christmas Eve mass at the Episcopalian church. And although it was different and she didn’t share the same beliefs, she didn’t notice any of the differences then, all she noticed was the love, the sense of togetherness, and the sense of family. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about? — uniting people with a common interest in the one divinity.December 22, 2011 at 6:10 pm #52136
Learning that Christmas isn’t truly about presents under the tree, or the biggest lunch I’ll have all year, or even getting together with family. I loved the Nativity story when I was little, even though none of my family or friends followed any religion. I sort of lost sight of that innocent faith in God as I got older, and Christmas felt empty and meaningless to me for quite a few years. But then I found Christian Science and learned that it really is all true – that baby in a manger and who he grew up to be, and what he came to show us about God. And that coming of the Christ is not something that’s just for one day in December, but something we can celebrate in our lives EVERY day!
I love these closing lines from Hymn 170, by John Greenleaf Whittier: “But judge not him who every morn / Feels in his heart the Lord Christ born.”December 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm #52165
I think one of the biggest things I have learnt is gratitude. This was originally for just presents, but I was thinking this week… Mary and Joseph’s Christmas in some ways was possibly less than ideal, away from home, a new baby and no room at the inn. They could have been fairly annoyed by the situation, or they could have just been grateful for what they did have…each other, a place to stay and an amazing baby and although they were probably away from family, they had the shepherds and wise men to celebrate with them, so really they had a lot to be grateful for.
Obviously we don’t really know what they felt, but we can still be grateful for what we have, even the really little things, that will make a much happier Christmas than lots of presents under the tree.
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