Christmas Presence [61 mins ENG]

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Christmas Presence is an artistic collaboration between Christian Science lecturer, Chet Manchester, and the soloist for The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Julia Wade. Chet and Julia share their talents with interfaith audiences worldwide, and their message about the spiritual meaning of Christmas will inspire people of all ages and backgrounds.

This is a replay. The lecture was Webcast live from The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, MA,
on Sunday, Dec 20th 2009 at 1 pm ET (UTC 18:00)

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  1. Paul and I were at the inspirational talk and concert this evening. We had a wonderful time, even purchased Julia’s CD afterwards. Chet understands this Science quite thoroughly and had a good time presenting it to us. As shepherds, Paul and I understand “The Lord is my shepherd” as we tend our flock of sheep.

  2. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. The reading of Mary Baker Eddy’s poem “Blest Christmas Morn” really touched my heart. Thank you for a beautiful program.

  4. Chet & Julia and all involved in this event–Thank you. The program was wonderful and warmed my heart and touched me deeply. What a wonderful message and so important for us all!!

  5. Thank you! What a beautiful and joyous way to celebrate the Christ – mas Presence…ALL year long. Thank you for the love and thoughtfulness that went into producing this. Merry Christmas!

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Chet and Julia – absolutely wonderful!! A true Christmas Present! What a refreshing departure from the usual Christmas “merriment.” Much appreciated!

  7. Thank you for this great event that brought light and joy to our hearts. Chet and Julia were very inspiring!! Merry Christmas!!

  8. BTW I heard once on the History Channel when they were doing a series on Jesus that his cross is still in existence today. Just heard it then from an historian. Don’t know any more than that – whether that is accurate or not.

    The Christmas Presence was wonderful — thank you again very much. It brought tears to my eyes when she sang “Joy To The World.”

  9. Thank you for the elegance and simplicity of this Christmas webcast. Due to the snow storm, I was not able to make the trip to Boston, so it was great to be able to watch it on the Internet.

    A fantastic idea to post the recording of this event so it will continue to be available to the public.

    Thanks to all involved for all the love and effort put into this offering to the community and the message it brings this Christmas season. Bravo!!!

    God bless and Merry Christmas.

  10. What a wonderful, lightfilled, warm and joyous celebration of Christmas! Thank you Chet and Julia for lighting up the world with your inspired thoughts and songs about God’s precious gift to us all, his son Jesus, the ever present Christ Truth.

  11. A very inspiring and moving presentation Chet and Julia! Thanks to everyone who produced and shared this blessing to all wherever we are—full of music, movement, film and message. Beautifully done!!

  12. This was beautiful–in every sense of the word. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who worked so diligently to bring it to fruition.

  13. I just watched the beautiful “Christmas Presence” with Chet Manchester and Julie Wade. I am speechless! It was absolutely incredible. Thank you First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston for making this possible!

  14. Thank you for this wonderful Christmas Presence!
    What a beautiful “must see” for all time! I thoroughly enjoyed this at home, here in The Bahamas, and it certainly was not lost on me the fact that your audience had to make a great effort to get to the event.

    Most recently I have been cherishing more than ever that “presence” that Moses was promised (Exodus 33:14 : My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. ). It has given me my highest sense of the Christ, of God’s realness and it also gives me a more practical sense of the Christ, that makes me more trusting and brings healing more consistently and naturally.

    Your presentation just dramatised this new feeling and adventure that I have been living, and Julia certainly did an excellent job of that. I like how the music, dramatization and Chet’s insights were so seamlessly and simply knit together. It must have taken a lot of loving hard work. The words of all the music and the accompaniment were so inspiring and beautiful.

    Thank you also for the most moving opening scenes from the Middle East. The introduction readings from the scriptures in several languages really brought out the universality of the Christ message but the unusual and unexpected inclusion of a non- euopean language really struck me dramatically as how the Christ message is open and free to each and every one of us wherever and however they may be.

  15. As one of the New Englanders who were snowed in today, I am so pleased this joyous event was streamed online. Had I been in the live audience, I would have done what I did here at home — clap my hands along with the music of Joy to the World! This is such a warm and tender approach to the Christmas story.

    Let me note that I first went to a couple of church websites to find the webcast and saw no link. I’m glad I still had the postcard I picked up at church that gave the URL. Do put links in a prominent place on all the websites when this event is available for continued viewing.

    My thanks for the creativity, holiness, happiness, and LIGHT you contributed to the season.

  16. Marvelous program! It had everything — wonderful message, engaging format. Most of all, “Christmas Presence” brought out so clearly the light of the Christ and the power of the Christ and the joy which that brings to each heart.

  17. Thanks for everyone’s comments…we were SO grateful that people beyond Boston could attend the event on the Web since the snow made travel very difficult here in New England. ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: I meant to say that the oil lamp I purchased in Bethlehem was almost 2000 years old – not that it “dated back to the year 2000.” Sorry about that! This little lamp comes from the first century and was found in an archeological dig in the hills outside Bethlehem.

  18. Just wonderful! Thank you, Chet and Julia, for your beautiful Christmas message to the world. With all the light you shared, we could see the light through the windows to the south reflecting off the snow. I was very taken by the story of the oil lamp, Chet’s healings, the reading of “Christmas Morn”, and the singing of “Joy to the World.” A blessed Christmas to all.

  19. Dear Chet,,Julia, and all involved in this joyous production:

    thanks for the oil!. I pray my lamp burns brighter.

  20. I have so looked forward to this lecture since its announcement. And, it was all so glorious! Thank you, Chet and Julia, Peter and everyone involved, for ALL the work, inspirations, LOVE, and prayers that went into this. Chet’s loving story-telling style makes me think of how Jesus must have spoken to everyday people, with such love, gentleness and inclusivity. Each “chapter” of your lecture so coherently illustrated the spiritual paths you have sought and treaded, and thank you for sharing them so generously. Julia – I was catching the “Joy!” balls you were throwing during the last song, right here at the other end of the website :) …. During your songs, unspeakable feelings of gratitude welled up in me. “Finding Christ in me,” which was a landmark song for me in the past, and your reading of Mrs. Eddy’s poem with Bobby Stanton’s beautiful guitar… Your songs have gently yet very powerfully helped unfold and encourage ideas in my life. Finally, this lecture of “Immanuel” reminded me so much of many blessings that I have experienced by the tangible immediacy of Christ, which Christian Science made available for me over the years. I am going to revisit the lecture online, share it with my multi-cultural, multi-faith friends and former students, and …. carry with me its precious messages of LIGHT into 2010 and …. beyond! God bless and Merry Christmas

  21. My favorite part was Chet letting it be known worldwide that the Comforter has come! And following it with his own healings. Thank you so much!

  22. I enjoyed walking in the snow to see this lecture at The Mother Church. It was a beautiful message for the season. Many thanks to Chet, Julia, and everyone who helped to bring the lecture to Boston and the Web.

  23. I am grateful for the reminder to keep looking for the briilliant light of the Christ in everyone; and to be reminded this light is eternal and can never be dimmed; and for the reminder that healing is a spiritual gift from the Christ which exists now and forever in every humble heart where unselfed love exists. Thank you for emphasizing so brilliantly the universal peace and joy which we all can share and magnify as you have so lovingly done in your presentation, Christian Presence.

  24. I am so grateful to be able to receive this lecture over the web in any part of the world where ever one is at the time of presentation. It was so enlightening with Chet and Julia and all those that participated to create such an open presentation of Christmas love and joy for all the world in this time of questions of where our health and Life come from. I truly enjoyed the video, extra music, voice and dance that was added. It was a performance outdone in today’s Christian services.

  25. I was able to receive and enjoy this beautiful Christmas gift via the web. Thank you
    Chet and Julia and all our friends at the Mother Church in Boston.

  26. What a wonderful gift this is. Thanks you. I so enjoyed watching Julia performing, she is so full of life and energy; and Chet was wonderful in his presentation. I’m so grateful to have been a part of this Christmas Presence. I so enjoyed the three young women in the beginning who spoke in various languages and English. We are indeed one in divine Love.

  27. What a deeply-moving sharing of the Christ and the Holy Lands and their lessons. Your gift was so well thought-out, produced and delivered! It was great to be reminded not to burn out by keeping our wicks soaked with the sustaining, spiritual sense of oil. For you all and your Christ-message that we treasure, we have gratitude and love past measure!

  28. This was a truly beaufiful presentation in appreciation of the Christ with us.
    I appreciate the way Chet led us to understand the Christ within us. I love how he brought proof of Jesus’ presentation of the Christ. And then how Mrs. Eddy demonstrated that Christ is with us today. It was touching to be taken to Israel. Julia’s singing and joy was more than inspiring — glorious! Both presenters were very loving, talented and certainly polished. I’m grateful for this very moving Christmas present from Boston. I’ve now shared it with 5 friends.
    Thank you to all of you who’ve helped make this presentation. It has warmed Christmas 2009!

  29. How lovely to share this loving Christmas message with the world! Thank you for this precious reminder of the Christ presence here with us now. Merry Christ- mas to all!

  30. Thank you Chet and Julia and all else involved! It brought tears to my eyes. Lovely!

  31. Thank you for the beautiful Christmas message and for all the love that went into its preparation. It was deeply inspiring, reminding us of the ever-presence of the Christ in every life. No one left out – in all the world.

    Ralphine Locke, Banff Canada

  32. Julia and Chet – - Thanks so much for this wonderful and enlightening Christmas “present” of Christ’s ever-presence. The music and the message were obviously inspired. A very warm Merry Christmas and a huge THANK YOU to you and to all involved in making this message possible.

  33. Thank you! This presentation was just what I needed to re-awaken the true sense of Christmas in my thought and heart. I hadn’t been able to sleep tonight; feeling burdened with worries and responsibilities. I came downstairs and decided to take some time to watch your presentation. Boy, am I glad I did! I loved the fresh renditions of well-known music and poems, and I especially loved the song about “looking for the Christ in you, and finding it in me.”
    Now I will continue the countdown to Christmas Day with rejoicing!
    Again, thank you to all who made this production possible, and …. Merry Christmas!

  34. What a lovely gift to all! Inspiring, enlightening, joyful, and enriching. Many, many thanks for this beautiful presentation that reminds us that the ever-present Christ heals now as surely as it did in Jesus’ time.

  35. Thank you for this wonderful presentation! At first it was sad to see so few people at the pews, but then I realized that more than half of the US is snowed in. Oh, how I wished I could’ve been there! I’ve heard Julia a few years back when she came to LA and the show was so good, so full of the Love of the Christ that I can still “taste it”.
    Thank you Julia, and thank you Chet for your wonderful testimony about the heart, I too have been having the same ugly discomfort, and when you said that it wasn’t a heart problem but “discouragement”, it made so much sense to me. For me to be disheartened means doubting that God is in control of my life. I am not going to be disheartened about anything, I will substitute disheartening and let the Christ-in from now on. This is the picture of the snowed-in areas in the US:

    ¡Gracias por esta hermosa presentación! Al principio era triste ver tan poca gente en los bancos, pero entonces me di cuenta que más de la mitad de los Estados Unidos está con la nieve muy alta. ¡Oh, como desearía haber estado allí! Escuché a Julia hace unos a?os atrás cuando vino a Los Angeles, y su show fue buenísimo, tan lleno del Amor del Cristo que todavía lo “saboreo”.
    Gracias Julia, y gracias Chet por tu maravilloso testimonio sobre el corazón, yo también he estado luchando con la misma incomodidad, cuando dijíste que no era un problema del corazón sino de “decorazonamiento”, eso para mí tuvo mucho sentido. Para mi estar descorazonado significa dudar de que Dios está en control de mi vida. No me voy a descorazonar por nada, voy a substituir el descorazonamiento y dejar que entre el Christo desde ahora en adelante.
    Esta es la foto de las zonas con nieve alta en los Estados Unidos:

  36. I just watched this on the Web, several days after the live event. I loved the scenes from the Holy Land, the music was absolutely beautiful – full of Soul – and Chet’s accounts of his healings with the stories of Mary Baker Eddy were all awe-inspiring. I had several tear-filled moments as I felt the outpouring of Love and the Christ-mas Spirit. Thank you so much for making this available to so many people via the Internet for those of us who couldn’t be there for the live event. Since nothing can stop the Christ message, this presentation can’t help but spread far and wide to bless many others.

  37. Thank you so much to Chet, Julia, Peter, the Board of Directors and all the Mother Church employees who made this lecture and webcast possible.

    It all seemed to me very soulfully, humbly and lovingly done. Many of the images in the video footage were exquisite. And I was very moved by Chet’s recounting of the half-hour or so when the sky was lit with that beautiful light, and what that meant to him.

    Again, thank you so much for the vision, prayer and sheer hard work that clearly went into offering this special artistic collaboration to the world. (It has just deepened my Down Under Christmas eve 2009.)

  38. Many thanks for such a wonderful lecture. My son and I have just watched it here in Scotland, with the snow on the trees, after what had been a busy Christmas Eve morning. It brought such a sense of peace and harmony.

  39. What a glorious Christmas present for all. I love it!! Thank everyone who was instrumental in putting this altogether. The lecture, music and film were all very inspirational and have made this Christmas more alive with the Christ Spirit for everyone.
    Heartfelt THANK YOU!

  40. Thank you for having the Christmas Presence lecture available on It was a beautiful and inspiring presentation and a wonderful
    and special way to celebrate Christmas Eve tonight.

  41. Thank you for this timely message… I love that I did not miss it, even tho it was Christmas morning before I got to see it. When ever I saw it, it was the absolute right moment!

  42. Thanks you so much for having this on the web – I wasn’t able to attend the event here in Minneapolis, so am glad I for this opportunity to see and hear it! The talk, music and video were all very uplifting, inspiring and calming after all the Christmas hubub and helped me get my thought back on track about what Christmas really is – also some new insights! It was a wonderful way to start my Christmas morning!

  43. I’m speechless, I have never heard or seen anything so inspiring about our Christmas. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Shirley B

  44. What a wonderful Christmas present. What an opportunity to link this type of program to Branch Church websites and advertise them through local Sentinel radio broadcasts. Keep up the good work! What a sense of love impels these progressive ideas!

  45. My own response echos many of the other remarks printed here. The holidays tend to be bittersweet for those of us who have lost family members during this time or are reminded of those missing from the family circle or who find themselves alone altogether. Loneliness and despair seem be our companions. Today your message and glorious music healed my heart of any depression or sadness haunting my home. What a wonderful gift indeed! Interestingly enough, soon after viewing this message on the web, I received several calls from well wishers for the season who especially wanted me to know they were thinking of me. God had found a way to show me the tender love that the Jesus’ story embodies with its Emanuel.


    Our Day was made even more special by this very lovely and meaningful program! Thank you all! And much love….

  47. This was so beautiful full of meaning and inspiration.

    Thank you so much for doing this and allowing the rebroadcast.

  48. What a delightful way to conclude Christmas Day! Thank you Julia, Chet and all involved in producing this inspiring message of the Christ!

  49. Six of us gathered around the computer here in California on Christmas Eve to enjoy this lovely program. Thanks to CSBD, Chet and Julia for reminding us so eloquently that it is the “presence of the Christ” that we are celebrating and not the “presents from the stores.” We all hope that there will be more of these Christmas specials in the future. We loved it.

  50. Thank you so much for sharing your soul-filled inspiration in such a lovely colaboration. We watched this special gift the day after Christmas and it brought such a sense of joy to our morning and illuminated our search for the Christ.

  51. It’s the day after Christmas and I finally got around to making the decisive “click.” Thank you for the light. Thanks to all that made this possible. I’ve mailed the link to several friends. God bless us all.

  52. Heartfelt thanks for sharing the LIGHT – my husband and I loved being in the original Mother Church with the beautiful stained glass windows (would love a virtual tour of them sometime!)
    Also the Holy land tour was wonderful… some scenes reminded me of the Pacific ocean and streams in our mountains here in southern California. This universal message of PEACE from Chet and Julia was wonderfully inspiring. Thanks to our Mother church for shepherding us and supporting us in healing/ revealing of the Comforter- “forever here and near”.

  53. From the more than 50 comments I have read, I know I am in the tiny minority, but you did ask for comments, so I will give mine. I loved Chet’s lecture, so prayerful, thoughtful, and the multimedia added relevance and depth. If there were going to be singing, I would have preferred that it include the audience since it was about the lecturer and the audience together – receiving and sharing. The musical performance was out of sinc with the message. It was all about her and was a distraction. For me, it was over the top and not needed to hold the audience. The message, so articulately and humbly shared, was enough.

  54. Just Wonderful!!!

  55. What an inspired program, and fresh approach to our lectures. You could feel the Christ, and the message was clear and glorious. Thank you all for the labor of Love and joy that went into making this a gift to all of us. Absolutely Beautiful!

  56. I realize this is for a diverse audience but there were times when I felt Chet was talking down to his audience, Not a good tining! Also, I could have done without Julia’s theatrics.

  57. Thank you for putting this together. I love the way the Mother Church is using the Internet to connect the community.

  58. Thanks to Chet and Julia and to everyone else who made this production possible. it certainly opened up my eyes to new ideas for this wonderful Christmas season with such joy and light.

    Last Sunday i spent the day shoveling out from the east coast blizzard and just a week later, on this early Sunday morning, I looked out and all the snow has melted due to a warm rainy Saturday night. It reminds me that our physical condtions do not control us.

    The renewed and expanded sense of the Christ that I received from your wonderful presentation inspires my prayers for church this morning, encompassing everyone in God’s Love.

  59. Way down in NJ, as I am still steeped in the Spirit of the season, I was wonderfully surrounded by your Light and Love. Thank you!

  60. Thank you for this lovely gift. We are indeed all one family!!!!

  61. The daily lift led me to the wonderful Christmas Presense Lecture today.
    Thank you for gifting the world and offering it as a repeat to all who find it.

    It is warm, quiet and bright….just like the light.
    opening the way to
    we walk in forgiveness, and “Thy will be done” and practice loving our neighbor as ourself.

  62. Thank you very much. This was wonderfully done. I enjoyed it a lot.

  63. I have nothing, absolutely NOTHING, to be critical about this program which you all so lovingly and creatively have put together. All I have for you is gratitude – gratitude for everything including your courage to bring a new format of presentation!!!

  64. Thank your for that inspired Christmas present!
    Great reading of Mary Baker Eddy´s poem which I had the opportunity to share at our Christmas hymn sing as well and performed with a singing group of our Sunday School pupils.
    Let´s make of every day a Christmas day!

  65. “But judge not him who every morn
    Feels in his heart the Lord Christ born.” CS Hymnal: 170
    Thank goodness for this line – I have only just managed to play this lovely gift from HQ, and I send my deep appreciation and gratitude for the love, the inspiration and the generosity behind its giving. I have been transported and uplifted for the past hour.
    Look forward to sharing it with friends who have been reluctant to physically attend a lecture (my interpretation of the non attendance!)
    Grateful for all the offerings and support of the folks “at Home” fo those of us “out here”!
    Thank you so much.

  66. Today is Tuesday, December 29. I heard the announcement about this lecture while listening to the live broadcast of the Mother Church Sunday Services. But I live on the West Coast, and so was not able to listen to the lecture live. I was hoping that it would show up somewhere later on, so I could enjoy it. And so today I found it on the Daily Lift Lectures. It was wonderfully unique, very special and appropriate to the season. I loved it. Hopefully there will be other opportunities for more of this style of lecture in the future. Thank you so much for making it available.

    With great appreciation,
    Gloria J. Robinson

  67. Not to be missed, this joyous celebration event with new contemporary music is good listening all year round. Animated song and relevant themes of “Christ in us”" reveal a wider appreciation of the combined musical and spoken Word. I admire the talents or qualities Christ works in our present consciousness of being.

  68. Although I was traveling at the time of the live webcast performance, seeing this webcast now on the first day of 2010 is a great way to start the new year! I love that our church is keeping “abreast of the times” with this joyous “Christmas Presence” multi-media webcast presentation of Christian inspiration, photos from the Holy Land, and invigorating music! The power of the Christ is always fresh, rousing and energizing, as well tender and loving and I feel this came through the webcast.

    The strength and conviction in Julia’s voice and movements as she sang the song about Jesus raising Lazurus from the dead was truly empowering! I also really enjoyed the presentation of the three young women reading from the Bible in different languages adding to the universality of the message! Chet’s healing of malaria was very inspiring, his photography of light breaking out in unique ways in the Holy Land sky calling him to look to his life and not to archeology for proof of the Christ gave much food for thought, and his moment of lip syncing in harmony with Julia was fun!!! Bravo and encore!!!

    I hope the Directors and Board of Lectureship sincerely consider doing more of these types of multimedia webcasts on both our own church websites and You Tube because this is the usual medium of the ipod generation! Thank you for this rich, colorful, Christmas tapestry of Soul!!!

  69. What a wonderful opportunity to witness to the light, joy and love of the Christ as presented so well by Chet and Julia. Not only was it uplifting, but it was entertaining. Thank you for this creative approach.

  70. How wonderful to be seeking new and fresh ways to present the Light of the Christ to the public. However, as was stated by Melinda (#54), I, too, probably represent a tiny minority, but want to share some comments. I watched the presentation of “Christmas Presence” twice and have been giving thought to the entire performance. There were many uplifting and inspiring ideas and experiences shared by Chet. However, in this case, the combination of a musical concert with a Christian Science lecture, detracted greatly from the message of the lecture. It came across as a theater production with song and dance that over-powered the spiritual importance of the experience. The song “Lazarus come forth,” where the soloist sang as if she were the Christ – “I am Christ,” “I am Light,” was over the top; far too personal, and “out of sinc” with the entire lecture.

    Many religious groups today combine power-point presentations along with bands, musical groups, and other theatrics to put forth their message and attract the masses. Christian Science lectures share the Word of God; the “Christ Presence” humbly and powerfully, and don’t need the accompaniment.

  71. This is such a healing present–a gift to the world at Christmas! I’ve watched it twice now, and forwarded the link to several friends. I wonder if you might make a DVD available at or through the Reading Rooms. This is worth hearing EVERY Christmas! Many, many thanks to all involved.

  72. Thanks for this hour of magnificent enlightment. I was deeply touched by “take away the stone that stands before me” and by Christmas Morn.
    This lecture, combined with the music was awesome, I am really impressed with this wonderful combination that brought to me light and joy.
    Chet, you and Julia did a maravellous presentation of the real and true Christmas Presence. Blessings !

  73. Having heard and watched this beautiful presentation on Christmas eve, I wanted to revisit it tonight. The second viewing is even better than the first! It was wonderful to have this be part of our family’s Christmas eve. The pairing of Chet’s gentle, loving message with vivid images and inspiring healing, and Julia’s brilliant singing flowing with joy, life and conviction was thrilling. Thank you so much for this gift. It was perfect!!

  74. Thank you very much. Even I listen after the Christmas season. the message still gives inspiration and Julia your music and the arrangement are really excellent and Chet this is very unique lecture I feel Christ presence when you are showing the video clip. I will listen again and again.

  75. I looked forward to this lecture and finally listened last night and again this morning. Thank you for the light, love and joy expressed so beautifully by Chet and Julia. Since the Christ is present in all seasons I’ll be revisiting this lecture throughout the year. Thanks to everyone in Boston for this gift.

  76. Deeply refreshing!

    Having listened several times, I learn more about humility and creativity, grace and power, with each visit. It’s astounding that we are getting this ” … without money, without price.”

    A gift, wonderfully exalting Christmas revival.

  77. Thank you all for such a lovely Christ-mas gift. The joy and beauty, originality and substance was truly effervescent and light emitting. The sincerity and simplicity of the Christ was truly felt and “brought back into remembrance”. Thank you one and all for the gift! I’m sure I’ll listen and watch again and again!

  78. I thought this presentation was incredible…Julia Wade is a talent we are most fortunate to have among us..a real gift to the Christian Science movement.

  79. I appreciate the thought but that was terribly embarrassing. I played this with my ‘twenty something’ sons in the room and they just howled at the antics of the people on stage. This was sort of a geeky way of presenting a Lecture.
    The video looked just like most boring mainstream Christian church videos of the Holy Land. Didn’t feel like much of a lecture to me. Milk Toast. I would oppose this type of lecture for our community especially if young people were present. Is Julia Wade a Christian Science Student?

  80. This performance is surprisingly similar to the productions of Joel Osteen. It has no depth, no understanding and not representative of Christian Science. It is shameful that this is what the Board of Directors would place on the FCCS website. This should not be listed as a lecture.

  81. Embarrasing, sappy, Christianity “Lite” entertainment. Where is the substance that is Christian Science?

  82. Snow storms in the US prevented some from attending the live presentation. Snow storms in England afforded me 3 days off work, to catch up with things such as Christmas Presence. Chet’s easy, conversational style made the message accessible. This was an effective contrast to Julia’s lively singing. Both were successful in conveying their passion for the Christ Message. Loved Joy to the World chimes at the end. Grateful to TMC for making this available on the web. Inspiring, moving, touching, thought provoking, memorable, rousing, funny… on.

  83. How is this Christian Science? What about this performance was thought provoking? Where is the excellence that once characterized this mighty movement of thought away from matter and the material body into the light and infinite love, which are God? What about Mrs. Eddy as a divine revelator? and Christian Science being the final revelation of Truth to this (and every) age? and as the mightiest of movements, what about this performance expressed the highest style of humanhood that Mrs. Eddy sought and found in every true follower? Why are we lowering the standard to ’suit the general drift of thought’? Where was the effort to ‘come out from the material world and be separate’? This performance reminded me more of a church service I attended at an Assembly of God, where everyone holds hands, sways back and forth and expects that to heal! I’ve gotten more out of Christmas services (even of other denominations) where quiet, solemn, and reverent music was played, than this show-stopping Broadway choir performance. Our Leader sets the stage for us all when she says ‘I love to observe Christmas in quietude, humility, benevolence, charity, letting good will towards man, ELOQUENT SILENCE, prayer, and praise express my conception of Truth’s appearing’ (emphasis added). None of the qualities she lists there require a performance like this. Please refrain!

  84. Chet’s lecture/concert seems to have reached some hearts judging from others’ comments. I don’t think this style is the way forward, however. A sincere truth-seeker would certainly be touched by his heartfelt accounts of healing, and it was good to get to the founder of Christian Science, albeit nearly 40 minutes into the lecture. But the antics of the singer and her songs were superfluous to the message. I feel many would be turned off by the over-acting, breathy, mannered renderings of the well-known hymns. The evangelical, Gospel and Hollywood styles do not sit well with Christian Science, where in our services Mrs Eddy calls for music to be played “in a dignified and suitable manner”. I don’t think the filming of the Holy Land added anything either, though I loved the little lamp. If I wanted a pretty film, I’d go to one. If I wanted a concert of Christmas music, I’d do much better going to one! If I’d been searching for the Truth, would I have found it at this lecture?

  85. For those of you who didn’t love Christmas Presence, why do you think there’s only one way to reach people? Maybe it didn’t touch you, but it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. There’s room for all kinds of expressions of good, after all, isn’t Mind infinite? I know for me that sometimes something doesn’t resonate with me, but often it’s more about the timing and where I am than about the message itself. I appreciate the fact that the church is trying new things, new ways to reach out. It hasn’t tossed out the old, though. Thanks to Chet and Julia for taking a risk. It worked for me.

  86. I suppose that since the very first days of Christianity, there have been some pretty lively debates going on about how to share the gospel with new audiences. Many of the disciples Jesus personally taught felt that only by subscribing to their Jewish culture – washed hands, circumcision, eating only certain food, etc – could people truly become followers of Christ. But Paul felt impelled to take the gospel out to all cultures and to adapt the message and its presentation to many different audiences, as Love directed. And he attempted to calm the internal debates going on among his brethren with words like these, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit…For as the body is one and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ (I Corinthians, chap 12). I’m so grateful that Christian Science is universal and that, as a church family, we’re able to appreciate many different expressions of it through what we do. These words from Mary Baker Eddy’s “Science and Health” have been a real inspiration to me, “Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love – be it song, sermon, or Science – blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty.”

  87. The impending spirituality of mortals largely depends on our receptivity and adherence to divine Principle as revealed by Mary Baker Eddy. Shouldn’t we ask ourselves, what is the motive behind a presentation like ‘Christmas Presence’? The more obvious motive is simply to attract the ‘millions of unprejudiced minds,’ Mrs. Eddy speaks of as ‘waiting and watching for rest and drink.’ But are they really attracted to the heart and soul of Christian Science by a superficial display of entertainment? The hungering millions are searching for something more than that. Aren’t they searching for true spirituality, the kind that is fierce in denying the claims of mortal mind and assertive in affirming God’s allness and power? Our Leader says ‘the way is straight and narrow, which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life.’ Its straight and narrow. Does that mean there is an infinite number of ways to present the living Christ to humanity? or just one? She doesn’t say the way is broad and infinite, its straight and narrow. Nothing but true spirituality – that state of being at one with the ‘Father of lights, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning,’ will attract the hungering millions to Christian Science. When Paul says, ‘there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit’ might not he be referring to the various gifts of healing, as all healing is a gift of God, and must be a divine manifestation in human consciousness? How then is he referring to various methods of presentation? And when our Leader says ‘whatever inspires with wisdom…,’ does she mean that it doesn’t matter what inspires with wisdom or the form it takes – as long as it gets the job done? She’s very specific in regards to the method of presentation and the scientific study of her revelation! She’d have to be! Otherwise, we’d all just do what we feel like and never get anywhere! When she speaks of ’song, sermon, or Science’ as sources of inspiration is she not referring specifically to certain facets of her revelation like the revealed necessity for a hymnal, a weekly lesson sermon, and a textbook from which to study this divine revelation? These sources of spiritual power bless the whole ‘human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table;’ they feed, clothe, and sustain the ‘hungry and give living waters to the thirsty.’ Once this Truth is understood and made practical in our human lives then are we enabled to help and bless others in that ‘upward soaring way’. Such depth of purpose was not perceived from watching this presentation and the fallacy that it doesn’t matter how this Science is presented to the world is debunked!

  88. An important clarification should be made to the above comment. From our study, we know that there is no way to spiritualize a mortal. Attempting to do so is futile and fatal. Therefore the ‘impending spirituality’ spoken of there is a state of being attained only by humanity that has ‘put off the old man with his deeds and [has] put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.’ Colossians 3:9-10

  89. What an inspiring and healing event!! Thanks so much, the Truth and inspiration was so tanglible even through the web. We need more of these programs…

  90. Thank you for sharing your diversity of gifts with us through this tender and much needed presentation. I’m seeing it this morning several weeks after the original performance date, but on the heals of the earthquake in Haiti. Given the crush of darkness that so many are feeling as they watch the images of tragedy on their screens, the message of divine light in this presentation is even more important for the world.

    Work that is this thoughtful and well-crafted requires a great deal of time, thought and prayer. Thank you all for creating it and sharing it with us. Many of us look forward to more presentations along these lines. Bravo!

  91. Thank you for sharing the Science of Christ in a way that all denominations can appreciate

  92. I found this lovely “Christmas Presence” right after I had read the news about the situation in Haiti. I had logged on to The Mother Church website in order to see if any public statement of prayerful support had been issued along with information regarding church members in Haiti. That was not yet available but I was pleased to see that I could view this lecture online and proceeded to do so. The timing could not have been bettter. The Christmas message is exactly what addresses this great need for the people of Haiti. The Christ, the Light of the world, the Saviour for all peoples and nations. For it was in the darkness of the night that the angel appeared to the shepherds with this greatest of all messages of Love “Fear not: for, behold I brings you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11) And because the shepherds listened to this message- “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward me.” (vs. 13-14)As Mrs. Eddy begins Science & Health with this very message, this lecture provided me with the perfect place to begin my prayers for Haiti. “Christmas Presence” presents the perfect gift to the people of Haiti, the perfect gift to all mankind! Let us unwrap it together!

  93. A friend who saw this on the Web sent me an email about it weeks ago, but not until today did I act on her suggestion to watch it. It is all the more welcome now, in the wake of Haiti’s devastating earthquake. Like countless other people around the world, over the past few days I’ve seen heartbreaking news reports and visited many websites looking for effective ways to reach out and in some small way help meet the stunning challenges people are facing in Haiti. Watching “Christmas Presence” this evening has turned my thought from the dark night of tragedy to an exquisite awareness of the everpresence and healing power of Divine Light. That light is evident in the global compassion encircling Haiti right now – and in all the prayers and practical outreach impelled by that compassion. So, thank you for the ongoing availability of such an artful, heartful, thoughtful, and uplifting presentation. While recognizing that it’s rooted in the teachings of Christian Science, I appreciate its interfaith spirit and accessibility to a wider audience. More, please.

  94. Thank you Chet and Julia, and everyone else who made this wonderful presentation available. I watched it twice because it was so moving. As someone who shares Christian Science with people of many different backgrounds, I feel the visuals, music, and words convey — to a wide audience — the Christ-spirit of love, joy, inclusiveness, healing, power, goodness. The illustrations and healing experiences make the essence and presence of the Christ easy to grasp for anyone who is seeking to understand their own relation to God more. You also showed how important and relevant the life of Jesus was to Mrs. Eddy and can be for people today. I’m also glad you explained how folks can follow up on their own to learn more, through the Reading Room, with Science and Health, and on the web. Would love to see more of this kind of celebration and sharing.

  95. I am normally in Boston during Christmas, but this time I was in the Philippines–at the opposite end of the world! Yet, thanks to you, distance was no issue to my enjoying one of the most insightful presentations on the birth of Jesus I have ever experienced. I love the way video footage of the Holy Land was used to bring a greater understanding of the historic context. The addition of music was a perfect complement to your lecture as words of truth sung, adds in a unique powerful way, as only music can do. ( I am reminded of the Last Supper when they also sang a song). I am a Christian who uses Science and Health as an essential supplement with my faith. Your program welcomed me, not excluded me. I only hope that more such programs in the form of webcasts can be done again in the near future. Truth and The Christ have no church walls but belong to all. Thanks to you and Julia for you am inspired collaboration!!!!

  96. Terrific new kind of presentation for a CS lecture — ’bout time!! Thank you for the creative energy expressing the Christmas message. And judging from reading the responses — you’ve struck a wonderful nerve. Truly demonstrated, CS has always been a radical religion and there is little room for “timid conservatism” if our church is to continue to function. (Of course, the Science of the Christ will always be.) Inspire and stretch our comfort zones — we can take it!

    Thanks Chet and Julia — and all involved — and more/more and more of this progressively creative effort.

  97. Thank you so much for this! I hope that one day all our lectures can be made available over the web. It would be such a wonderful gift to humanity. I have already played this lecture more than once and plan to watch it yet again. It is simply beautiful! An earlier post mentions the need for “true spirituality” in our lectures. True spirituality is overflowing in this one! It was just filled with beauty and joy and power, — with grace and truth. The Christ spoke clearly through the love expressed in word and song and is heard by every listening heart. It was full of life and love and joy. Another post says “the antics of the singer and her songs were superfluous to the message.” I couldn’t disagree more. What they called “antics,” I call artistic expression, and the artistry was simply superb, truly God-inspired, Soul-inspired. As for the songs being “superflous to the message,” well, just try listening again. They “are” the message! … just as much as the words. After all, if angels could sing with joy at the Saviour’s birth, so can we! (smile!)

  98. I’m so grateful that all of these comments have been posted. There is no doubt that thought has been provoked. That’s not surprising to me since this lecture did such a good job of talking about and illustrating what the Christ is and does.

    To me, the evaluating of a lecture should go far beyond the number of hand gestures used (or not), types of media used (or not), etc. Those are such limited ways for estimating whether the Christ was present, and I find nothing proscriptive in Mrs. Eddy’s writings about these things. Nowhere does she say that song=only hymns. If she was inspired by a rubber band one day, I don’t doubt she was inspired by birdsong on another day, and even by songs that weren’t in our hymnal.

    Yes, I might have changed certain details of the lecture according to what I know is my individual taste. But that in no way limits the great respect I have for the message delivered, the people it reached, the individual and fresh ways it touched people, and most of all, the environment of thought it created. Overall, I enjoyed it and was inspired by it.

    And again, I’m grateful all of these comments have been posted. I think it’s important to see that our dear church includes and anticipates a variety of people. That’s more than okay. It’s healthy. As Eddy says,

    “We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities;…”

    Huge thanks to Chet and Julia and all involved for all the beauty and goodness you shared (and continue to share) with so many!

  99. Thank you so much for keeping “Christmas Presence” online. It wasn’t until last night that I watched it. It was wondeful. I am dealing with a physical problem and wasn’t able to attend church yesterday, so I listened to the service from The Mother Church in the morning. I so appreciate all the avenues TMC utilizes to share the Word. I felt impelled last night after a day alone (I live a half mile from the road and was feeling isolated) to look up the e-mail message about “Christmas Presence.” I was thrilled the link still worked. Even though it was a recorded program, I felt actively included in the love and joy and companionship and light expressed. I loved the trip to the Holy Lands — I am happy to replace the war-torn pictures in my mind with those beautiful ones. I awoke this morning filled with light — the beauty of the original Mother Church filled with light and with those gorgeous stained glass windows flooded my thought. God-inspired expressions of joy and love are always appropriate and filled with blessings.

  100. Well, can you believe that I’ve just now heard/seen this and January is almost over. Chet and Julia – it was inspiring and forever timely. Loved it all…! Thankyouthankyou.

  101. This lecture/music presentation has once again brought joy and the light of love into my heart. What a blessing to be able to make this a part of my Christmas tradition (I listened last year and listened again today, Dec 19,2010). Thank you for sharing your talent and inspiration. Merry Christmas.

  102. I am listening to this on Christmas Day, 2010, and am in awe of the presentation. The music of Julia, the spirtual thoughts and comments of Chet, and the video strike a perfect balance. Hallelujiah!!

  103. Just saw it today –Jan 5. Loved it!!! Such talented members we have!!
    Thank you so much. You get a hug when I next see you, Chet.

  104. I never tire of this program. I play it in my kitchen all the time just to feel the spirituality fill the air.

  105. Repeat the Sounding Joy ... in infinite rounds and cycles ..
    Thanks for sharing this again.
    This is and will be a fresh, repeating treat for me.

  106. What a blessing indeed. It just took me out of myself and transported me into heaven of angel
    singing the love and joy for Christ's coming into the world and promising so much of Life Truth and Love for every one.

  107. Thank you, Thank you for making this available on the internet. It is so beautiful, so joyous, so inspiring.

  108. God bless us all everyone. so many past in Spirit with.Peace on earth.Good will to all! Joy to the world!Love All.

  109. Please keep available on the web this lovely instructive sanatory masterpiece. A way to convey inspiration to the world: Christmas, a mental state that should keep present in human mind to improve thoughts, Christian Science elevating mankind points of view towards the high realities of Spirit. Thank you very much. God with Us.

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