A discovery – a big discovery – happened when the first Christmas was celebrated over 2,000 years ago. Shepherds were tending sheep and praying just outside of Bethlehem. It is recorded in the book of Luke that suddenly the glory of the Lord shone around them, and an angel encouraged them not to fear.
Just what is glory that calms fear? The passage continues:
“For behold I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior, who is Christ the Lord, has been born today… At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace toward men of goodwill.”
What is glory whose harmony so captivates that it brings joy to everyone?
The ancient Greek definition of glory, as used in the passages above, explains a transforming element of prayer. Strong’s Concordance has, “glory: a condition to be enjoyed now through the devout contemplation of the divine majesty of Christ… This will include not only the blessedness of the soul, but also the gain of a more excellent body.”
I experienced this glory during the holiday season two years ago. I found I was not able to sleep on my chest or hug anyone because of a lump on my breast that was getting very sensitive. My first resort for health has become prayer, so I called a fellow Christian Science practitioner (practice of healing through prayer). We prayed together for several weeks. I was no longer in pain or fearful. By March 2011, the lump was completely gone as well.
My prayer did include a daily contemplation of the Christ, the goodness or God likeness Jesus exemplified and which we can discern in ourselves and others. For me this lead not only to a healthy body, but also to larger sense of forgiveness and some practical steps to take in resolving an injustice.
Those shepherds went on that Christmas evening to bring gifts as they followed a bright star to the nativity of Jesus. I wish everyone the glory and joy they found.