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Why taking up our cross each day is something to look forward to. Really!

From the March 2024 issue of The Christian Science Journal

The purpose of everything Christ Jesus said and did was to make people see and feel the vividness of the kingdom of heaven, or the supremacy and actuality of God, good, in their lives. This good news of Spirit’s power and sovereignty may have initially seemed like some far-off thing that could only be hoped for, and very much separate from their daily lives. Yet Jesus insisted that this kingdom of harmony was within them. With every healing, with every evidence of spiritual power, with every lesson of divine Love, Jesus was enabling his followers to see that their experience of spiritual identity wasn’t determined by material conditions, but by thought, by what they were giving their heart and mental strength to. 

The promise is that as we consciously and humbly seek to be animated by Christ, the true, spiritual idea of being, we increasingly find ourselves experiencing authority and dominion over material limitations. 

There is a catch, however. A Christianly scientific perspective of Jesus’ ministry makes it utterly clear that a material orientation and a spiritual hope cannot cohabitate happily in our consciousness. We can’t schedule and organize places for both, or think that we can simply add some spiritual improvements to a mortal life, like frosting on a cake. In fact, Jesus uses the starkest of images—the cross, an execution stake—when he says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:23, 24).

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