We’ve all had “those” neighbors, I’m sure. The ones who move in and seem to disrupt our routine, our quiet, our peace, etc. We had those neighbors, too. But then they did a surprising act of kindness, and this one positive interaction with them completely changed our perspective. They were the Good Samaritans helping us with car trouble, and we were given the opportunity to learn more humility, grace, and understanding from the experience. Now we have a relationship based on appreciation for one another. Have you had an experience like this, too?
You can read about this experience in my recent article for The Christian Science Monitor.
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The holidays can be a busy time. On top of work, there are travel plans and gift giving. It can seem like the focus is on the to-do list and not on the message of the Christ — God’s unconditional love for all mankind.
So how do we put the spirit of the Christ back in Christmas with all the things that need to get done?
In a recent article I wrote published in The Monitor, I tell about a time when our family moved across country and had a lot to do upon arrival. I share how seeking “the kingdom of God first, and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33) became a helpful focus, giving me a greater sense of peace, and allowing things to fall into place naturally and harmoniously.
In another article that I appreciate on this topic, “Unselfishness: a recipe for time managment“, the author writes of his spiritual wake up call from feeling self-centered pride about finishing his to-do list to a greater desire to live spiritually: “Like a bolt of lightning, it became clear to me that I had just one task: to express unselfishness, to dedicate my entire day to blessing and serving others…”
I hope these ideas will help you and yours to express more of the Christ-spirit this holiday season. Wishing you a Christmas season filled with grace, poise, patience, gratitude, Christly-love and affection.
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How often do you read the Sermon on the Mount? The founder of my church recommends reading it once a week and putting it in to practice each day. I have to admit that I rarely read it every week, but I do have to say that I notice a profound difference in my outlook on life when I do read it. The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, has a profound way of spiritualizing thought, the way we live, and our interactions with others. Starting out with the beatitudes highlights attributes such as humbleness, meekness, gentleness, sincerity, peacemaking, and more. Later on it illustrates the importance of not judging others, not criticizing others, and even not worrying because God gives you what you need. It reminds us of God’s great love, and it encourages us to let God’s light shine! And it assures us that following this teaching gives us a house, consciousness, and faith that is built on a rock.
I am amazed by the simplicity and profound nature of this Sermon. It has the power to transform hearts and lives. So, if it’s been a little while, find your favorite translation of the Bible and give it a read today. It will surely re-orient your thinking and life in a positive way.
To my sense the Sermon on the Mount, read each Sunday without comment and obeyed throughout the week, would be enough for Christian practice. The Word of God is a powerful preacher, and it is not too spiritual to be practical, nor too transcendental to be heard and understood.–Mary Baker Eddy
PS — Check out a friend’s article on how living the principles of the Sermon on the Mount can even lead us to a less violent world. Universal Love: Roadmap to a less violent world
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