Why is it that the holidays always seem like a time of hustle and bustle rather than peace and joy? How can we be free from the fear and anxiety that accompanies the holiday season and instead tap into the true meaning of what Christmas is all about?
The time leading up to the very first Christmas was hardly peaceful for Mary and Joseph. Recently engaged, Mary became pregnant before the two were married, even before Mary had ever been with any man. If you’re familiar with the Christmas story you know that Mary was visited by an angel who told her that this pregnancy was from God and didn’t require the usual material means of conception. This visit from the angel Gabriel must have provided a huge sense of comfort for Mary. Even so, Mary didn’t know how her fiancé would react. If Joseph didn’t understand, Mary could lose her chance of marrying him and be forced to raise this child by herself.
When Joseph discovered Mary was pregnant, he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to publicly disgrace Mary, so he decided to break off their engagement quietly. Can you imagine the fear and anxiety this would have caused the couple? This immaculate pregnancy could have ruined their future together.
Just before Joseph made his decision final, another angel paid him a visit. “Don’t be afraid,” the angel said, “the child within her [Mary] was conceived by the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:20). What a relief! This meant Joseph wasn’t engaged to an unfaithful woman and he could feel free to move forward with their marriage without any anxiety. Had Joseph made a snap judgement and broken off their engagement instead of patiently listening for direction from God he might never have found a sense of peace. As Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path.” (SH 254:10).
Just like Joseph and Mary listened to the angel messages, when we listen for God’s messages to us we can overcome our fears and anxiety and feel empowered in the face of challenges.
Share with us your stories of overcoming fear and anxiety around the holidays in the comments section below. We would also like to let you know about our upcoming Christmas Eve event, “The Gift of Christian Healing.” This brand new talk by Evan Mehlenbacher, CSB, will illustrate how the healings that Jesus and his disciples accomplished were not limited to their time on earth. The power of the Christ gives us a practical means of healing today. A simultaneous Spanish translation of the talk will be available for all Spanish-speaking people. Uplifting music by inspirational country artist Cherie Brennan will begin at 7:00pm and Evan’s talk will begin at 7:30pm. Please join us and invite your family and friends to our inspiring Christmas celebration!
You can also join us this Wednesday at 7:30pm for our Testimony Meeting will focus on the subject of “Comfort,” and this Sunday at 11:00am the service is on “God the Only Cause and Creator.” Our Reading Room is also a great resource to dig deeper and find helpful articles on how Christian Science heals. You can join any of our services on the phone at the following conference number:
Dial-in Number: 1-310-372-7549
Access Code: 607611