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Christmas and the second coming

From the December 1981 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Is Christmas simply the celebration of an event that happened two thousand years ago, which, though far-reaching in influence, may be no longer relevant? Or does it mark an epoch in fulfillment of salvation prophecy that John's Gospel describes as a consequent of God's love for the world? Christ Jesus, himself the central figure of the celebration, promised, ". . . I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:3.

Earlier, when his contemporaries were unable to understand his—and in reality their—eternal relationship to God, he had pronounced, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." 8:58. He could hardly have made it plainer that he was not speaking of his human personality; for who could have thought that this man standing before them had lived before Abraham, who they knew had died hundreds of years before? It is logical, then, to accept that in speaking of the second coming, Jesus was referring not to his own personal presence but to the divine manifestation of God, which is the Saviour of the world — before Abraham and since.

"The second appearing of Jesus is, unquestionably," writes Mrs. Eddy, "the spiritual advent of the advancing idea of God, as in Christian Science." Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70. And elsewhere in answer to her own question "Is there more than one Christ, and hath Christ a second appearing?" she writes: "There is but one Christ. And from everlasting to everlasting this Christ is never absent." Further on she adds, ". . . when we behold the Christ walking the wave of earth's troubled sea, like Peter we believe in the second coming, and would walk more closely with Christ; but find ourselves so far from the embodiment of Truth that ofttimes this attempt measurably fails, and we cry, 'Save, or I perish!'" Message to The Mother Church for 1900, p. 7.

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