In this age when words and pictures bounce off orbiting satellites, it's tempting to pay more attention to the technique and style of communicating than to the substance. Invariably, that's a frustrating temptation, because we eventually are turned toward the fact that it is always the heart of a message that matters most.
Despite all the flair and aggressive persuasion we run into, the worldliness that so many of the messages reaching into our lives have been dipped in, there are increasing signs that many people are looking for deeper purposes to share and more caring messages to dispatch.
If you've studied Scripture even a little, you've long since discovered that the major purpose of the Bible is, in fact, communication, the communication of God's Word to humanity. God speaks to us through the teachings of Christ Jesus and through the inspired perception of his followers and of the men and women of the Old Testament.
For example, the Scriptures record the Commandments God gave Moses. These reveal the truth of God as the only power, who alone is to be worshiped. The Bible presents the reassuring, uplifting words of the Psalmists. It records the perceptions of Isaiah and other prophets who shared the conviction that spiritual strength is much to be desired, and is found in God.
Of all the Bible's messengers, Christ Jesus was the most important. His message changed lives. It saved lives. It beckoned others toward absolute trust in God. It established high and daring Christian standards. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, noted, ''More than profession is requisite for Christian demonstration.'' n1 She also writes, ''Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power.'' n2
n1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 141.
n2 Ibid., p. 233.
As Mrs. Eddy implies, there is certainly much to be learned from the Gospels in these times. The lessons are basic, and the sharing of them is necessary if we take Jesus' example seriously. We can easily speak in the simple terms he used to illustrate his complete trust in God. He talked of farmers and weather, of keeping house, of families and of cherishing childlike attitudes. When there was deviousness to uncover or disobedience to correct, he spoke bluntly. When discovering even the slightest evidence of spiritual-mindedness, he spoke affectionately, humbly. To some he spoke much; to others very little. Sometimes he just traveled on until he found a place that welcomed Christliness.
The Master's steady message was that we should live as children of God - in accord with our genuine, spiritual selfhood, made in God's likeness - and not just talk about some blessed future. Certainly, daily trust in God's supremacy and the striving to give up worldly, materialistic thinking, which would hide our true nature, are essential to success in Christian healing. And they're essential to the working out of our salvation.
Jesus placed works above words. He had little interest in publicity. Once, after an astonishing healing of a leper, he counseled the one whom he had cured, ''See thou tell no man.'' n3 There was a radical, spiritual healing to cherish and to protect from the negative mental influence of skeptics and gossips.
n3 Matthew 8:4.
At a time of great need - in the Garden of Gethsemane - Jesus' most promising followers literally fell asleep. They ignored messenger and message alike. There's no time for such drowsiness these days, in an atmosphere jammed with messages of greed, materialism, and fear of things seen and unseen. The healing messages of the Bible are at hand to bless our lives, and we need to be awake to them.
The truths of the Bible are the very basis of Christian Science. ''Divine Science,'' writes Mrs. Eddy, ''derives its sanction from the Bible, and the divine origin of Science is demonstrated through the holy influence of Truth in healing sickness and sin.'' n4
n4 Science and Health, p. 146.
For all of us, the Bible's word still stands as a timeless resource - God's message to mankind. DAILY BIBLE VERSE And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Acts 20:32