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Gratitude for the universal Christ

From the November 2020 issue of The Christian Science Journal

When we turn wholeheartedly to God to find the very core of our being as His likeness, we begin to feel our unity with God—the divine Principle, Love—which “constitutes the brotherhood of man” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 340). How important it is to know this, especially in times like these, when our world is crying out to be lifted out of inequality, hatred, and disease and is yearning for comfort and healing.

Ever since becoming a student of Christian Science, I’ve had a very special place of gratitude and love in my heart for the gentle yet powerful Christ, which is God’s message to all of divine unity and harmony. Mrs. Eddy’s definition of Christ as “the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error” (Science and Health, p. 583) points to the idea that even a heavy and burdened way of thinking can be awakened by the healing touch of the Christ.

I experienced this when I first moved to Boston. There were a number of big changes in my life, and on top of it all, I was experiencing a physical problem. But I knew healing was possible, as my study of Christian Science had proved to me that as we grow in our understanding of the purity of divine Love, we feel and experience the peace of God within us. 

Very shortly after arriving in Boston, I was hosting a sound and light presentation in the Mapparium, a 30-foot stained-glass globe housed in The Mary Baker Eddy Library. The presentation shows how moral and spiritual ideas have changed the world. 

That day, the visitors included two families of four, each of a different race and culture; and then there was me, of yet another. Here we were, on the Mapparium’s transparent bridge connecting East and West. At a certain point in the presentation, which indicated that this beautiful world was home to each and every one of us, something inspired both dads to simultaneously open their arms wide and embrace their families. It seemed to me that they were hungry for a universal message of transformation and progress.

At that very moment, my heart softened, something within my thought shifted, and an internal physical pain I had been dealing with all day lifted. I knew I was feeling the gentle love of God. Clearly, all of us had been moved in some way by the universal Christ.

This experience brought me clarity about three key spiritual facts:

  • First, that each one of us—regardless of religion, race, politics, economic status, culture, or country—is in actuality inseparable from God, who created us in His spiritual likeness. And the Christ—the true idea of God—transcends all human divisions, speaking to all.
  • Second, that God’s attributes are manifested forever in each of us. At heart we are all made of the same spiritual substance, which we each express in unique ways.
  • Third, that if we are in reality one spiritual family, “man,” then there must be a natural spiritual affection, sourced in God, that connects us to each other. The fundamental fact of God’s oneness defies mortality, and prayer affirming this is potent, far-reaching, impartial, and universal. 

“Universal” in relation to spiritual reality represents an expansiveness, but also a distinct oneness. Science and Health explains: “God is one. The allness of Deity is His oneness” (p. 267).

It is the universal Christ that uplifts individual thought from a personal, mortal, finite viewpoint of ourselves to the universal family of God’s man, made in the likeness of divine Spirit and Love. Yet it isn’t enough to know in theory what is spiritually true. It is the practical demonstration of Christian Science, the Science of Christ, that brings a real change of thought and heart. This involves being more aware of our true, spiritual substance: the qualities divine Mind, God, expresses in us, such as wisdom, peace, wholeness, and love. Then, we feel more tangibly our place in a universal, spiritual whole—and experience the healing and harmony this brings.

My heart softened, something within my thought shifted, and an internal physical pain I had been dealing with all day lifted.

A friend of mine who lives in another country and is of a different religious background once told me that there’s a passage in Science and Health she finds so comforting. It says: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy” (pp. 476–477).

Who wouldn’t want to feel the touch of the healing Christ? We all need to feel our native worth as God’s children, innocent and pure! Jesus was all about seeing correctly, and this seeing was grounded in God’s allness and oneness. He showed what it means to live our innate purity so fully that we are able to discern God, good, even in the darkest situations. And we are able to do this because “we have the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:16). This is true for all of us! The rich harvest of Christ-healing continues today.

Mrs. Eddy dedicated her life to sharing the Science behind Jesus’ ministry, saving humanity from the bondage of sickness—awakening us to our Christly, spiritual identity. Christian Science reveals that God, good, is All; that man is God’s pure and perfect reflection; and that anything unlike good has no personality or legitimacy. I’ve found that even modest healings stemming from a glimpse of this reality evoke a gratitude and love so deep that one can’t help but feel one’s unity with divine Truth and Love.

That’s what happened in the case of the physical problem I was facing in my early days in Boston. As I continued to learn more about God as infinite Love, and of His children as governed eternally by the one divine Mind, the problem permanently disappeared. My gratitude for the healing Christ and the love it generated in my heart remains boundless. 

Today, as our world cries out for healing, we can renew our commitment to Jesus’ “new commandment” to “love one another” (John 13:34) and really take to heart this tenet of Christian Science: “And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure” (Science and Health, p. 497).

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