Golden text: I Peter 5:14*
Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Matthew 1:18-21 NKJV
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
21st Century Science and Health**
If we pray to God as though God is a measurable person, human doubts and fears rear their ugly heads and become obstacles. Because of the human mind’s unawareness of God as divine Spirit, there is an unawareness of true Love, to whom all things are possible. This spiritual unawareness sees Love as a gendered creator and ruler, thereby causing people to see themselves as merely physical and susceptible to mortality. God is immaterial Love and we can grasp the wonders brought by Love. We can see ourselves as images of God through spiritual consciousness.
Question. What is person?
Answer. Person is not physical, mindless particles. God’s offspring is not made up of the temporal brain, blood, bones, and other mortal elements. The Scriptures inform us that God’s offspring is made in the image and likeness of Spirit. Physical human beings are not the likeness of Spirit. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Person is spiritual and perfect, and understood as such in divine Science. We are idea, images of Love, not physiques.
The word man has a generic meaning, signifying the one perfect nature of person or spiritual being. The term is unpolluted by the human concepts of biological gender. Research into the word man is finds it connected with the root *men—“to think” (cognate to mind). Unfortunately, today’s common use of man, defined as human males, narrows and weakens the original meaning. Biblical literalism attempts to reduce Deity to anthropomorphism or humanization. The word anthropomorphic is derived from two Greek words, signifying human and shape, but God has no physical anatomy with fleshly organs and human passions. Fortunately, spiritual interpretation allows us to recapture a broader perspective. The life-giving quality of Spirit is Mind, not human mind. The ideal man corresponds to creation, to intelligence and Truth. The ideal woman corresponds to Life and Love. In divine Science, we have not as much authority to consider God male as we have to consider God female, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity.
The idiom man is used as a generic name for all people, or ideas; however, the term man is becoming obsolete. Gender-inclusive language predominates. The terms man and woman, spiritual being, living being, or person, are today more commonly used to denote the child of God, expressing countless attributes and moving in accord with Spirit, reflecting goodness and power.
Matthew 2:1-5, 13-21
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”
19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
21st Century Science and Health
At the time of Jesus’ birth, King Herod decreed the death of every male child so that Jesus, the masculine representative of the divine idea, might not be a threat to the king’s status. Jesus’ impersonation of the spiritual idea had a brief human history, however, “his kingdom will never end.” God’s idea, Christ, will ultimately rule all nations and peoples—imperatively, absolutely, finally—with divine Science. This pure idea embodied first by man, and according to the Revelator, last by woman, will baptize with fire. The fiery baptism will burn up the chaff of error with the fervent heat of Truth and Love, melting and purifying even the gold of human character. After the stars sang together and all was primeval harmony, the material lie made war upon the spiritual idea, but this only impelled the idea to rise to the zenith of demonstration, destroying sin and discord, and caught up to God, found in its divine Principle.
Listen and be wise. You can escape from error. You can also detect the unfaithful people who saw the danger and gave no warning.
At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know yourself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Love is a protective covering. Wear it! Wrapped up in love, human hatred can’t reach you. The confirmation of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.
Those instructed in Science have reached the glorious perception that God is the only creator. The Virgin-mother conceived this idea of God and gave to her ideal the name of Jesus, that is, Joshua, or Savior.
The illumination of Mary’s spiritual sense silenced material law and its order of creation. Her child was conceived by the revelation of Truth, demonstrating God as Parent. The Holy Spirit protected her illuminated sense with the full recognition that being is Spirit and Mary’s idea, though tiny at first, developed into the fullness of the life of Jesus. The Christ lives forever an idea in the bosom of God.
As the offspring of God, as the idea of Spirit, individuals can be viewed as the immortal evidence that Spirit is harmonious and we are eternal. Jesus was the offspring of Mary’s personal conscious communion with God, allowing him to give us a higher idea of life and demonstrate the Science of Love—his Parent, or divine Principle.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
21st Century Science and Health
“The Word became flesh.” Truth must be known by its effects on the body as well as on the human mind before the Science of being can be demonstrated. The idea of the Word becoming flesh was embodied in the incarnate Jesus. He was a life-link forming the connection through which the real reaches the unreal; through which Soul rebukes mortal impressions; and Truth destroys error.
If the Word is explained through mortal convictions, the spiritual meaning is scarcely perceived. Religion which stems from half-hidden history is pretentious and void of healing power.
If religious people accept church salaries and build churches, yet turn away the poor and stranger, they are shutting the door on progress. Let the stories of Jesus’ birth in a manger and death on a cross, deflate human arrogance and egotism. Gratification of the physical senses will numb the right hand and cause the left to let go of its grasp on the divine.
The law of Truth makes all things possible to Spirit. The laws of human mind attempt to render Spirit of no avail and demand obedience to materialist codes, thus departing from the basis of one God, one lawmaker.
Inconsistency is shown by words without deeds, which is like a car without an engine. If our words fail to express our deeds, God will redeem that weakness and out of the mouth of babes Soul will perfect praise. Consistency is seen in example more than in precept. The night of materiality is burning out and Truth’s glow wakens human beings spiritually to hear and to speak the new tongue.
Nothing except divine power is capable of doing more for human beings than we do for ourselves.
The movement of thought, advancing past limiting standpoints is slow and warns the spiritual traveler of the long haul ahead. However, the angels of Love’s presence—the spiritual intuitions that tell us when “the night is nearly over; the day is almost here”—are our guardians in the gloom. Whoever opens the way in divine Science is a pioneer and stranger, marking out the path for generations yet unborn.
Divine Spirit blesses its own ideas, and causes them to multiply—to manifest Love’s power. We are not made to cultivate limited concepts of matter. We also are not made to dominate. Our dominion is to respect and care for all the symbols of God, the Maker; this is the Science of being.
The spirituality of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus.
We may revere Jesus and our heart may overflow with gratitude for what he did; however, our demonstration of love must be comparable to Jesus’ until all are redeemed through divine Love.
*Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
**** Text from 21st Century Science and Health, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen
 Matt. 2:16
 Luke 1:33
 John 1:14
 Rom. 13:12