Christians around the globe pay homage at this season to the arrival of the babe that in time became known as Christ Jesus. The circumstances surrounding his birth—his virgin mother, his coming in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, the attending shepherds and wise men to whose hearts the occasion spoke in a revolutionary way of God’s great love toward humanity—were all utterly unique to Jesus’ life and mission. The story is ever new to receptive hearts, and it continues to evoke our deepest reverence and gratitude.
Perhaps no one statement better elucidates the enduring import for humanity of that first Christmas than this one by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science: “Jesus was the highest human concept of the perfect man. He was inseparable from Christ, the Messiah,—the divine idea of God outside the flesh. This enabled Jesus to demonstrate his control over matter. Angels announced to the Wisemen of old this dual appearing, and angels whisper it, through faith, to the hungering heart in every age” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 482).
Many of us would count ourselves among those hungering hearts Mrs. Eddy cited. We yearn to experience the purely spiritual healing practiced by the Master and his disciples—even a measure of the dominion over matter that Jesus demonstrated. So it’s natural that we would be looking to the gospel accounts to tell us more about the nature of this “dual appearing” and the promise it holds for healing in our own lives.