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From the December 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal

It Probably Didn't look like a good time or place to get a new message out to the oppressed residents of the countryside. People had other things on their minds. For one thing, the country was under harsh foreign domination, and even the native-born rulers cherished their own political power more than the welfare of their people. In addition, the appointed ruler had ordered a countrywide census that required all the residents to travel to the cities or villages where the heads of their family had been born.

"Can you imagine what it must have been like?" my friend asked. "People meeting each other again after years apart, families coming together and celebrating. Think of the festivities in all those hotels and motels. Yet in the midst of all this hustle and bustle, the message got out to those whose hearts were ready to receive it. And the world would never be the same."

We had just run into each other on a city street corner as a stream of symphony-goers, dressed in their finest for a gala holiday event, crossed the street near us. So large was the crowd that police officers were out in the street directing traffic. And farther down the block, Christmas decorations sparkled along a shopping area as people bustled about with bags of groceries and gifts for the next week's big Christmas celebration. Some were laughing and chatting, some looking stressed.