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“As in heaven, so on earth …”

From the August 2020 issue of The Christian Science Journal

“Nooo, not one more thing.” That’s the thought I had after the latch on my trunk appeared to be stuck. I had just emptied a second trunkload of branches at the town compost heap and one of the downed-by-winds branches had gotten caught in it; I had gotten the branch part out of the latch area, but the latch now being stuck meant the trunk was also stuck in the wide-open position. Yikes! Scenarios flashed into thought. I couldn’t drive around like that. What would I do?

Earlier that day, I’d been thinking about a phrase I was familiar with—“as in heaven, so on earth”—from Mary Baker Eddy’s writings, and when I briefly mentally quieted down a bit, the truth of that began to dispel concerns. Then an idea surfaced, and I quickly found a way for the latch to return to its normal functionality. Gratitude to God! In the scheme of things, a tiny situation, but nonetheless, a reminder of “heaven,” or harmony, here and now, and a promise for the resolution of bigger challenges.

How many times have we wished for a good outcome to a situation? In the midst of all that appears to be happening these days on many fronts, how can we find tangible peace, harmony, health, solutions, protection, needs being met, and wholeness? We could say, How can we find some heaven, here on earth?  

From biblical times through today, much has been written about heaven and how it relates to here and now. In probably the most well-known of all sermons, the Sermon on the Mount, Christ Jesus shared a prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, which has now been prayed audibly and silently countless times around the globe. The prayer includes a line that seems to point to humanity—right here, right now—being able to experience divine presence, divine reality. Referring to God, Jesus said: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Mary Baker Eddy, who loved the Bible and discovered Christian Science, gave the spiritual sense of that line as: “Enable us to know,—as in heaven, so on earth,—God is omnipotent, supreme” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 17).

So this sounds wonderful, especially since God is all good, but how is it possible, and what are we supposed to do when it looks as if the opposite is true all around us? And how can we know that God, Spirit, is supreme on earth, when earth is commonly viewed as material?

I think of those times when, after turning to God, I’ve found that—for myself and also others—health has been restored, answers to hard-to-solve challenges have been found, needs have been met, individuals with initially differing views have found a constructive way forward, raucous ocean waves have appeared to diminish, and more—“as in heaven, so on earth,—God is omnipotent, supreme.” So many times a way to move forward during or after “stormy” situations has been seen, when the outward picture seemed daunting.

What happened to turn things around? Forms of prayer such as these took place: pausing to “listen” for God; a quiet yearning; a deep striving; a committed desire for a better understanding and view of God and His governance and guidance; also, a conviction of what’s possible; an opening of my or another’s heart to divine reality; wholeheartedly and trustingly turning to God; vehemently stating what’s spiritually true—in thought or out loud. All of these are ways of opening thought to the truth of being, to the allness of God’s goodness—what’s of heaven—rather than dwelling on what is clamoring for attention on earth. Present-day heaven includes genuine peace, harmony, health, wholeness, supply, strength, unlimited capability and energy, and all-encompassing divine Love.

The spiritual truth of being is rooted in Christ Jesus’ teachings and healing works, which built on the foundation of God, Spirit, being not only the predominant power, but the all and only power and substance of true being. And he showed that the divine reality, God’s reality, includes God’s offspring—each of us, made in His image, spiritual. 

Jesus proved the accessibility of heaven and the allness, or entireness, of God’s all-good reality in each of his healing works, showing that the light and love of God is what actually governs.   

Through acknowledging the eternal Christ message, we can learn more about the dynamics of heaven here and now and experience more of it. 

Christ Jesus inherently represented the actuality of “as in heaven, so on earth.” The explanations in Mrs. Eddy’s writings, derived from her deep study of the Bible, healing works, and life lived, show the divine Science behind Christ Jesus’ mission, words, and works. She described Christ Jesus in a number of coordinate ways—for example, “Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ” (Science and Health, p. 473). And “Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (Science and Health, p. 332). The Apostle Paul emphasized the unique role of Christ Jesus over and over, including when he wrote this: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). 

Through acknowledging the eternal Christ message, the ongoing divine message of God’s love, we can learn more about the dynamics of heaven here and now and experience more of it. But, we may ask, at times when individual problems seem insurmountable or when there seem to be unfathomable collective situations regarding health, economy, destructive weather, long-standing conflicts, policy issues, environment, home, and more—what “on earth” does letting the Christ into thought have to do with seeing evidence of heaven, harmony? 

The Bible’s spiritually illuminating message, brought out in Christian Science, sheds all-transformative light on that question. Jesus said, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17), indicating that with a God-impelled change in thought, we can realize that the presence of heaven, harmony, is at hand—not in some far-off, “afterlife” place—and that we can avail ourselves of that presence now.

Throughout Mrs. Eddy’s writings, it’s shown that matter is not what it appears to be, but simply material perception objectified (see Science and Health, p. 374). As Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures elucidates, “The physical universe expresses the conscious and unconscious thoughts of mortals” (p. 484). And in contrast, “All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all” (p. 468).

So when we realize that everything we observe here on earth is actually a manifestation of thought, we more clearly see the connection between welcoming Christ in our thought and then seeing evidence of heaven, harmony, on earth. The eternal Christ, delivering God’s message of eternal Truth, is actually ever present in and speaking to human consciousness. As the Christ message is acknowledged rather than ignored or denied, our consciousness is spiritualized, and in turn materially based thinking and beliefs dissolve. 

This enables us to tangibly see and feel more of God’s heaven, harmony, in our day-to-day life, as our Leader points out so vividly in Science and Health: “Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality, even the way through Christ, Truth, man will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed …” (p. 171).

As we go forward in this way, more of our God-endowed true nature as expressive of love, health, wholeness, purity, spiritual intelligence, and capability shines through. We see “human beliefs” being dissolved in ourselves and others, such as fear, doubt, ill health, pride, lack, frustration, and ignorance. And this includes the potential of seeing even more intense “human beliefs” being washed away through divine power, such as hatred, revenge, deceit, envy, lust, chaos, self-will, obstruction of good, fixation on materiality, and much more. 

This spiritual progress enables us to more readily let go of the root belief that matter has any concreteness or power—for that is what would close those “gates” to heaven here. 

With the forever Christ showing the way, glimpsing and experiencing “as in heaven, so on earth” can come through step-by-step acknowledgment of God’s allness—being convinced of it, declaring it, and expecting to see it manifest. In modest and more profound ways, we can be alert to witness, acknowledge, and rejoice in what God is doing in earth, as in heaven.

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