The Crown of the Year

         The Thanksgiving season, with its high tones of gratitude for blessings divinely bestowed, is over, and we begin to ask ourselves what are its abiding lessons for us. Perhaps the ruling sentiment with American people at this time is thankfulness for the measure of political and religious freedom enjoyed by the nation, also its prosperity. The more thoughtful, however, look deeper than this, and ask to what extent these are being made subservient to higher ends, and what progress is actually being made in the establishment of that righteousness which alone exalteth a nation. On the surface is seen the great danger of forgetting the vital interests of the nation in satisfaction with the material which, at its best, "passeth away"; but beneath this is an unceasing demand that the moral and spiritual nature of man be given its rightful recognition in all the spheres of human activity, and that this demand is felt and its justice generally admitted, is indeed cause for thankfulness.

         In his earlier experiences the student of Christian Science is largely grateful for relief from suffering, and then he becomes conscious that deeper gratitude is due for the truth which brought him freedom, that knowing of the divine nature which Jesus said "is life eternal." As this is perceived, it becomes very clear that all true blessings are spiritual, and that there is no power which can deprive us of these in their utmost richness and fulness. In the sixty-fifth psalm are these words: "Thou crownest the year with thy goodness," and as we read them, we may well pause and ask ourselves if the year is thus crowned for us, if we have gained such a grasp upon the divine goodness that we are radiating truth and love everywhere. If this be true of us, the noise of sea and wave, and "the tumult of the people," the discord and strife of mortal mind, will for us be still, and the "outgoings" of every morning and evening will be vocal with praise. In this psalm we are reminded that God may answer us by what to mortal sense will seem "terrible things," but we are at the same time assured that they will be "in righteousness," for nothing unlike the infinite goodness can ever come from God, and we can always refuse to open our mental doors to aught that God does not send, whether disease, sin, or any other form of discord.

         In recounting our blessings received in Christian Science, the emphasis comes to be placed more and more upon the deeper realization of the spiritual fact at all points in our experience, and this is what gives the trust sense of security and the deepest thankfulness. Our revered Leader tells us that "we reach the Science of Christianity through demonstration of the divine nature" (Science and Health,p.4), and as it dawns upon us that God is infinitely good, we draw near to Him with no doubt or uncertainty as to His readiness to bestow whatever we need, and our growing recognition of the divine goodness aids us in our "demonstration of the divine nature." As we reach this point, our love for our heavenly Father becomes a mighty healing influence, and it includes more and more a deeper, true love for Christ Jesus and for the one who has made his teachings a life-giving power in our own day. We thus prove the truth of St. John's words, "Every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him [or her] also that is begotten of him." The apostle asks how one can love God, "whom he hath not seen," if he love not the brother "whom he hath seen," and who is, humanly speaking, nearer his own plane of thought.

         In Science and Health we read that after Jesus' disciples gained "the true idea of their glorified Master, they become better healers" (p.47). This will be no less true of Christian Scientists, as they understand and love better the one through whom the healing power of Truth has been revealed to them, and the love which rests upon the highest idea will unfold until it include all humanity, blessing most those who love most. The clearer views of God and man thus gained will mean a spontaneous and perpetual thanksgiving which echoes daily the psalmist's paean, "Thou crownest the year with thy goodness."


"The Crown of the Year"
Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, December 6, 1913

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