IN one of the most appealing lessons taught by the Master, the parable of the shepherd, he declared himself to be the "shepherd of the sheep," their guardian and protector from all lurking danger. "I am the door," he declared: "by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." To Christian Scientists this parable has a special significance, for they know the door to be the Christ, Truth, through which they are privileged to enter the kingdom, spiritual consciousness, thereby winning salvation from all that is false, unreal, and discordant.
He who declared himself to be "the way, the truth, and the life" might well be the open door to the universe of Spirit, where is found man's perfection and everlasting bliss. Christian Scientists have found the Christ to be the door to all that cheers and blesses. It is indeed the way of Life to all that enter therein; and gratitude to our beloved Leader grows apace as we comprehend more and more of the significance of her message, for she has shown us the manner in which we may enter the golden door of Life, even to "go in and out, and find pasture."
Emphatically we are told, and repeatedly, that we can enter this realm of Truth only by the front door, that is, by the way of the Christ, spiritual understanding; for those who would climb up some other way are termed thieves and robbers,—they who seek not the way of Life, but, rather, to gratify personal sense through pandering to the lusts of materiality. In her Message for April 19, 1899, in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 152), Mrs. Eddy admonishes her students thus: "Ask thyself, Do I enter by the door and worship only Spirit and spiritually, or do I climb up some other way?" Every true disciple asking himself this question should formulate an answer in accord with the significance of the query.
Mankind's greatest need, all will agree, is to lessen material sense by gaining more of spiritual truth. The facts of being must become more real to us, if we would progress Spiritward. The problem is perfectly plain. There need be no misunderstanding regarding it. The Truth-seeker has no other door. The only approach to the Father is through the Christ. The word "door," it seems, may signify both the barrier which closes a passage and the passage or entrance-way itself. In both uses it has a peculiar significance to the metaphysician. As a barrier, it would shut out all false beliefs, the intruders, interlopers, and eavesdroppers, which have no legitimate call to enter the portals of mentality. Such are the material beliefs. Surely, the true way is not to be entered and traversed by such, for Spirit and matter have no traffic. "Door" may also signify the portal to human consciousness; and John represents the Christ as saying, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock." If this gate to the mentality be opened, if admission be given to the Christ-idea, consciousness becomes transformed through this angelic visitant, which is found to be the healing and regenerating Truth. This is the coming of the Christ-ideal, which, if entertained, reveals all the glories of heaven.
How may this door to the way be opened? Earnest desire for the spiritual—longing for the higher and holier thoughts—is the golden hammer at whose signal the door swings wide. Striving to enter in, grasping, holding to, and utilizing prayerfully every item of Truth gained, enables us to go forward, to enter upon that earnest day when Love and Life lead and comfort us with the assurance that all is well. In this great endeavor, the most important upon which mortals can enter, each year is the jubilee year; each moment of each day, the golden opportunity for journeying further into the land of perfect promise, where no shadows fall, where those clad in white garments of spiritual purity bask forever in the full effulgence of God's eternal glory!
Of the key to unlock the door to the kingdom, Mrs. Eddy writes in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 99): "Truth has furnished the key to the kingdom, and with this key Christian Science has opened the door of the human understanding. None may pick the lock nor enter by some other door." Christian Scientists share the glorious privilege of unlocking the door to this heavenly opportunity. Thousands have found this door; untold thousands will find it. The door of the sheep is the way of Life in which all must walk. Why delay to enter? The sooner one enters, the sooner will he gain the state of perpetual harmony where reigns the peace that "passeth all understanding."
Through the gaining of this understanding,—"here a little, and there a little,"—and through applying it to the destruction of error, will the hosts advance. There is no royal road. All traverse the way on the same terms, and all are destined to make the journey. It is made in love and goodwill, in joy and thanksgiving, for Christ is the constant companion. All may gratefully enter here, singing the song of joyous obedience. Each seeker for this light is privileged to make this his jubilee year, the most profitable of all his experience. In degree as the Christ-consciousness is sought and won will the year be successful. The true Christian worker is the most blessed of mankind. His gains are permanent; they are the treasures which rust cannot destroy, nor moth corrupt.