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To be born again

From the April 1979 issue of The Christian Science Journal

A fresh start, a new beginning—who isn't interested! To wipe the slate clean of yesterday's hurt and injustices and of the dreads that hover over an upcoming tomorrow, this is a challenging hope. It has haunted and eluded so many people, always seeming to be just out of reach.

To be born again. What does this mean in Christian Science? Not an emotional intensity that skyrockets one up onto cloud nine and then leaves him there dangling between the ecstasy of a far-off heaven and the dread of a burning hell for sinning souls. No, this dualistic theology has no foothold in the Science of Christianity. Here God is seen to be unchanging Love, forever providing us with the opportunity, the necessity, to awake to what we already divinely are—individual manifestations of God's being.

The new birth! In his theology Christ Jesus made this a point of prime importance. His illuminating words to Nicodemus quicken our perception of what it means and how it may be achieved. "Ye must be born again," he told the Pharisee. And he follows this scientific requirement with a perception of man's incorporeality: "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."John 3:7, 8;

Man without beginning or end—man the reflection of the eternally-going-on God! All the mortal foibles blown away. None of the old matter-based thought habits about ourselves, our days, our ambitions, can be held to. Here and now we are to know ourselves to be what God made us—the living, visible evidence that God and man coexist, are at one. Then our true being shines forth in healing. Proof, not mere words, is the demand upon us. A thoughtful deed done, a devoted affection expressed, say more than a thousand words about our having undergone a new birth.

Isaiah prophesied the coming of the new man, the Christ ideal, when he wrote, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: . . . and his name shall be called Wonderful."Isa. 9:6; In discovering the Science of being Mrs. Eddy has revealed the truth that opens the door on this child as the actual identity of each one of us, here to be acknowledged and achieved. In her own living she demonstrated the value of casting off the limited concept of herself. One of her students quotes her as saying: "All I have ever accomplished has been done by getting Mary out of the way, and letting God be reflected. When I would reach this tone, the sick would be healed without a word."We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, First Series (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1943), p. 23; Isn't this what Christ Jesus was telling us when he said, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."John 5:19;

As this new birth becomes a daily event for us, we begin to watch for it with joy. We learn not to let the Cain concept of man kill our Abel. We refuse to let the busyness of Martha smother our Mary, and we permit no Judas suggestion to crucify our Christ, our oneness with God, with Truth and Love. As we live this unity, we see the beauty of it expressed in our improving relationships with others, in our substitution of silence for harsh criticism. The aimless rehearsal of our own mistakes or the mistakes of others ceases to interest us. We refuse to keep this kind of diary about ourselves or anyone else. In the new birth there can be no tenacious holding on to mortal case history. This would-be history is a counterfeit of man's divine destiny.

The Science of being is not just something we use to solve a problem, to get rid of a disease, or to erase an unhappiness. The new birth goes far deeper than that. It reveals to us our true selfhood, our spiritual identity. We can ask: "Is my spiritual identity more and more becoming visible to me as all there is of me? Am I practicing and proving its possibilities?" Mrs. Eddy reassures us with these words: "He who has named the name of Christ, who has virtually accepted the divine claims of Truth and Love in divine Science, is daily departing from evil; and all the wicked endeavors of suppositional demons can never change the current of that life from steadfastly flowing on to God, its divine source."Miscellaneous Writings, p. 19.

As this new birth becomes alive in our consciousness, our entire life takes a new turn. We leave the mortal record for the divine, the thickets of fear for the open fields of unlimited possibilities!

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