Christ Jesus knew where supply for all human needs comes from. He knew that the source is the same for everyone and that the source is God. Jesus rebuked common preoccupations: ''Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink . . . . And why take ye thought for raiment? . . . seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.''n1 Again, he asked, ''Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?''n2
n1 Mathew 6:25.28, 33.
n2 V. 27. 8E
Jesus loved mankind, and one can see in his chiding the tenderness a mother might display in trying to show her children the futility of their mistaken ways. The belief that the source of our provision is in matter is ultimately futile, because this belief abandons the only sound basis - the only real basis - of well-being.
Jesus taught that God, Spirit, is the unfailing source of life and sustenance. He was a living example of the abundant resources Spirit bestows on man. His chidings were meant to stir the thought of his followers - to help get thought unstuck from its mistaken notions about the source and nature of our provision. Reliance on matter blinds us to the abundance of Spirit and the practical divine help available to all of us. ''No man can serve two masters,'' n3 Jesus said.
n3 V. 24.
Poverty is an acute and universal problem, afflicting not only individuals but also governments. In the United States a shift in government policy and the continuation of a slow economy have led to fears of deepened deprivation for certain sectors of industry and society.
Certainly, sound economic policy is required. But more can be done to help humanity find a fuller supply for its needs. Through prayer and deep loyalty to the Bible's teachings we each can rouse ourselves to the spiritual perception Jesus urged on us.
Christian Science is showing that hope for humanity lies in the truth of man's unbroken relationship to God and in human discernment of this relationship. In reality man is spiritual, directly sustained by his creator, divine Spirit. Each individual is fully cared for. The Father knows all His children, and not one is ever forgotten or separated from Him.
This truth already embraces even those who seem the most deprived and forgotten. Mary Baker Eddy n4 writes, ''Spirit duly feeds and clothes every object, as it appears in the line of spiritual creation, thus tenderly expressing the fatherhood and motherhood of God.'' n5
n4 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founderof Christian Science
n5 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 507.
Spiritual truth is a light that needs magnifying in our thoughts if it is to be demonstrated more widely - if poverty is to be progressively ameliorated. Our compassion demands the best physical efforts to help the poor; but we should also demand of ourselves conscientious prayer. Man's unity with God doesn't need to be reestablished. It's even now intact. But it does need to be discerned and cherished.
Do we resent our own financial situation? We can rouse ourselves to a stronger perception of our oneness with God. Man is really His expression, the object of His continuing love. Our true being proceeds from God. No human need goes unfilled when we understand the source of our supply.
The challenge of poverty should serve as a useful prod. If we yearn to see mankind freed from deprivation, our more active commitment to spiritual perception will transform that yearning into effective prayer. DAILY BIBLE VERSE When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. Isaiah 41:17