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How are we formed?

From the May 2019 issue of The Christian Science Journal


In the book of Isaiah, God says of man, “I have created him for my glory, I have formed him” (43:7). How encouraging it is to learn that we each are formed for the glory of God. 

What, exactly, is the nature of our glorious form? It certainly wouldn’t be vulnerable, limited, or physical and decaying. No, God’s glory, which is present in what He forms, must be purely and vigorously good and spiritual, as God is all good and is Spirit.

The infinite Mind that is God, divine Spirit, has formed all of creation spiritually, beautifully, and precisely. And we can be grateful that divine Mind creates only perfect spiritual forms—forms of beauty, intelligence, strength, wholeness, etc. It is within God’s own consciousness, the divine consciousness, that we each are fashioned and maintained. 

While the human concept regarding buds, blossoms, and people is that their forms are material, Christian Science teaches that God’s creations are not physical forms. Mind’s government, in fact, ensures that the identities of divine creation remain exclusively spiritual. On page 62 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy helps us relate this truth to our present situation, saying, “The divine Mind, which forms the bud and blossom, will care for the human body, even as it clothes the lily; but let no mortal interfere with God’s government by thrusting in the laws of erring, human concepts.”

We each are actually individual ideas of Mind—formed mentally and with clarity here in divine Mind. It’s only a mistaken sense of existence that would bind us to matter. We are formed spiritually, and it’s wise to let our perception of ourselves grow into the understanding that we are spiritual.

There aren’t different versions of creation. There is just one. As Mind’s outcome, we each have form and individuality that is defined only by God. We are not physique; we are created faultlessly, outlined through God’s, Spirit’s, character itself. It is God’s nature, and God’s nature alone, that we reflect as His image.

Gratefully, our divinely bestowed form isn’t ever in a state of pre-perfection. Mind’s authority ensures that our form and substance are seamless and eternal. It is so inspiring to realize that divine form is timeless and ageless—maintained by Mind, and residing in Mind. “In Science, form and individuality are never lost, thoughts are outlined, individualized ideas, which dwell forever in the divine Mind as tangible, true substance, because eternally conscious,” explains Mary Baker Eddy (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 103). We don’t need to try to take on the form of God’s perfect sons and daughters; in prayer, we need to understand and realize that we already have been gifted with this divine, ideal, and glorious form.

Some friends of mine were told, when their daughter was in the womb, that there was a genetic problem and she was forming incorrectly. This was early in the pregnancy, and they immediately began praying. 

As Mind’s outcome, we each have form and individuality that is defined only by God. 

In Science and Health, it says, “Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered. Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew” (p. 425). Forming this new addition to the family out of improved, or even picture-perfect, matter wasn’t the objective or focus of their prayers. It was to recognize that the authentic sense of body is actually God-given spiritual identity, formed and governed only by the consciousness that is divine Mind. Mind, my friends saw, is the sole Parent of its ideas. When the child arrived, there was no deformity, and there were many tears of joy. Today she is a very happy and active child.

In prayer, humble selflessness that mentally embraces our spiritual form and identity helps us to understand and love God’s infinite nature. This kind of selflessness includes releasing the entire notion that we have even one single material aspect. A physical, aging body is not what we are. Our strength and capabilities do not exist in a material sense of being. Formed by Spirit, we are capable as God’s ideas. All ability and fitness reside agelessly in Spirit.

This kind of heartfelt prayer can reveal more and more each day that we are God’s very own expression. We are Mind’s conception; only Mind outlines our identity, and there is no other mind. It is good to affirm this often for oneself. False concepts of body, or identity, can be cleared away by admitting that, as forms of Mind, we are developed spiritually and solely by God’s goodness and nature. We can openly rejoice because, as Hymn 51 in the Christian Science Hymnal puts it, we are so gloriously and exclusively defined by God as man, who has “form divinely fair” (Mary Alice Dayton).

Truly, the glorious spiritual form given us is a priceless possession. We can become receptive to feeling the presence and influence of Spirit forming not only our thoughts, but our character and actions.

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