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Your life — ‘hid with Christ’

From the December 2014 issue of The Christian Science Journal


There’s more to your existence than meets the eye. In your life today abounds more goodness, harmony, and wholeness than you can humanly know or observe. This is because “your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). The Message, known to be a paraphrase-like translation of the Bible, puts it this way: “Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life.” 

What is this “new life,” hidden from human view, that belongs to each of us? What does this life with Christ look like? In the Gospels, Christ Jesus showed us through his teaching and healing work, and ultimately, his resurrection. Whenever and wherever a person appeared to be experiencing suffering or unhappiness, he saw what was visible to spiritual sense and hidden to the material senses—that man’s real life is spiritual, at one with God, hid with Christ, Truth, and therefore safe and harmonious. Jesus’ understanding of his spiritual identity as inseparable from Christ enabled him to overcome the claims of suffering and mortality for himself and for those who came to him for healing.

In reality, man’s identity is purely spiritual. This means that we are not products of biological evolution. We’re not chemical, organic, or psychological. We exist because God exists, and He defines what we actually are, namely, His full and perfect expression: loving, selfless, beautiful, free, and eternal. Neither age, skin color, nor national background defines us, because the one perfect Supreme Being created us spiritually, in His image and likeness. Who we are at our best moments, humanly, hints at this real identity that is at one with God.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was led by a pure desire for truth, and especially by God’s grace, to see beyond human appearances and limitations to the reality of spiritual identity. She saw that the kingdom of God is within us, as Jesus taught (see Luke 17:21), and that to understand spiritual existence and to live a life consistent with our pure and sinless spiritual identity is to have one infinite God, good, which heals sin and sickness.

Man’s real life is spiritual, at one with God, hid with Christ, Truth, and therefore safe and harmonious.

Mrs. Eddy grasped that the beautiful aspects of human existence—a close friendship, the loveliness of nature—echo this divine Life, and so should be appreciated. But she also recognized that the real work of the Christian, according to Scripture, is to be willing “to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8). In other words, to be willing to give up our false beliefs about the body as having pleasure or pain, and to yield to the one divine Mind, thus uplifting and redeeming human existence. Eddy understood that the consciousness of life as material is a fundamental misapprehension of God, the perfect, unchanging eternal Life, which we reflect. She described this bogus consciousness as a waking dream-shadow, a false notion based on the belief that there is a mind with its own thinking that is independent of the one Mind, God. This dream has no origin, cause, or substance. God neither created it nor allows the discords within it. Knowing that our real life is wholly separate from this mortal dream, and hid with Christ, the true idea of God, affords us safety from every aspect of the belief that life is material. 

One such aspect of the belief in a material life is the belief in sickness. Though generally thought of as a static or changing condition of matter—a clinical state of the body—sickness, as one learns in Christian Science, is a subjective state of mortal mind—the outward expression of the darkness of fear. What causes fear is the often undetected assumption that we are fundamentally physical, and so, not hidden with Christ, not safe in God, and that considered realistically, God is not taking care of us and meeting our needs for nourishment, safety, health, home, companionship. This assumption may express itself as utter conviction. But as we learn of God’s loving care for His creation, and of His omnipresence, we realize that He does indeed meet all of our needs, abundantly, eternally, and independently of what we think. 

Disease, like all discords, is a chained lion (see Mary Baker Eddy,  Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 380). It claims to be able to affect and destroy life, but this claim has no power or reality and is never anything more than a dream and, therefore, unable to change the harmony of true being. While this may seem like a strong statement (and, of course, compassion is the only Christian attitude toward one facing illness), it is true that understanding the powerlessness of disease eliminates its possibility.

Relative to sickness in general, we might assume that it has an ongoing existence of which we are sometimes aware. But surprising as it may seem, we “have” a disease only if it’s in our thought at this moment (though in Science God’s image and likeness can truly never be ill). Illness has no origin, reality, or continuance independent of our conscious or unconscious thought at this instant. Illness is neither an objective reality nor an experience of an objective reality, but is an exclusively mental experience based on fear. We overcome fear of disease by understanding that God is governing in every way (that we are “hid with Christ in God”), and we stop thinking of disease and it disappears.

In the face of illness or other discord, it requires boldness to assert that God, Mind, is maintaining our health and well-being. But that is what the Master, Christ Jesus, did. Mindful of God’s consummate care for man, he said, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). He demonstrated this not only by healing quickly and completely, but by reforming sinners, feeding the five thousand, and even resurrecting Lazarus and also Jairus’ daughter.

What does it take to demonstrate this life with Christ, as Jesus did? More than anything, it takes spirituality—a consistent willingness and ability to know God and to feel the reality of Love’s omnipresence. For it is in our Father-Mother’s comforting, strengthening Love that we are nestled, eternally safe, protected, and well.

I remember a work situation one summer, some years ago, when I saw this proved in my experience. The people at the top of the organization were fighting constantly, and there was an atmosphere of hostility. I prayed to be able to do my work, and especially for an atmosphere of harmony to be restored to our workplace. As it became clearer to me that everyone in the organization was spiritual, and thus, under the harmonious government of the one divine Mind (that we were “hid with Christ in God”), I was able to come through that summer employment situation with joy, contributing uniquely to the organization and making that workplace better.

At every moment the Christ, Truth, is reassuring you, as it did me, “All is well, and you know it.” Knowing that we are forever “hid” in this spiritual understanding of God’s harmonious government of all mankind—in the safest of places—brings healing to every
situation.

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