Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Things and Thoughts Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Things and Thoughts Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

Last Christmas, circumstances prevented me from attending a family dinner party. Sitting at home - alone - on Christmas Day, I asked myself, "Can I find a silver lining in this cloud?" In one sense, I could already say "Yes." I had a quiet day to think about the true meaning of Christmas. But a more complete answer to that question involves metaphysics.

Now, metaphysics may not be on the tip of everyone's tongue, but it simply means "after physics" or "beyond physics." One definition of metaphysics begins, "The branch of philosophy that ... investigates the nature of first principles and problems of ultimate reality."

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, said, "Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul {God}" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 269).

Because my experience happened back during the holidays, I thought of that statement in relation to the Christmas gifts people exchange. I saw them as representing appreciation and love for one another. The festive dinner could be seen as a token of God's bountiful provision for all. Even the glistening tree hinted at spiritual qualities like radiance and joy. And on an even deeper level, the entire story of the nativity - including the Bethlehem babe, the shepherds, and the wise men - was one that many people were remembering. They were cherishing it, at least in part, because of Jesus' world-changing ministry of healing and teaching.

Jesus showed tangibly that God's care for His loved spiritual creation is not limited by time or physicality. So all the good that Jesus did, having its source in eternal God, must belong to us always. We can't be deprived of the joy, hope, peace, and healing he brought to earth. As the poet Whittier said, we can feel the Lord Christ born in our heart every morning (see "Christian Science Hymnal," No. 170).

A Glossary in Science and Health gives descriptions of certain Bible terms in the light of what they signify metaphysically. It says that the spiritual sense of these terms "is also their original meaning" (Pg. 579). One of my favorites is the description of ark. …

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