HAVE you ever been tempted to wonder if you would have been better off if you had been born in a different place, a previous era, or even a future age? The teachings of Christ Jesus bring a spiritual perspective to this issue. Jesus' gospel, or good news, was ``Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.''1 Jesus wasn't referring to a particular spot on the map or to a particular day on the calendar. His own era was not a ``greener'' time of particular peace and morality. Rather, at all times and in all places the message remains the same -- ``The kingdom of heaven is at hand.''
Clearly, Jesus' sense of life was not defined or limited by time and space. He spoke of a heavenly reality that can't be seen or felt by the physical senses but that fills all space, is always present, and actually constitutes the substance, or truth, of being.
Reality in its truest sense is the totally spiritual, wholly good outcome of God. It expresses the allness of good, the infinitude of Spirit, the omnipotence and omnipresence of divine Love. Through an understanding of this present reality -- the kingdom of heaven at hand -- Jesus refuted and overcame sin and sickness. And his healing works were not held back by time and space. He healed individuals far away; he healed diseases that had gone on for many years.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, gives the spiritual sense of Biblical terms. Part of her definition of year reads, ``space for repentance.''2 Clearly, this year is not found on a calendar! A portion of the definition of Kingdom of Heaven is, ``The reign of harmony in divine Science.''3 This kingdom won't be found on a map!
Every moment is actually an opportunity to give up the sense of being wholly defined and limited by material conditions, and to experience more of the eternal harmony of God's perfect government. We can do this as we look to Jesus' example. He is the Way-shower to salvation from evil. To follow him we need to acknowledge -- and come to feel deeply in prayer -- that God's kingdom of spiritual harmony is at hand. And we must strive to follow Jesus' example by living lives of purity and wholehearted love for God and man; by expressing more of our actual selfhood, which is God's likeness.
Our God-given purity and goodness can bring healing to troubled relationships; our God-bestowed integrity and intelligence can help resolve business problems; our God-derived strength and health, acknowledged in prayer and recognized to be the reality of our being, can replace physical difficulties. In other words, our living of Godlike qualities can bring to our families and communities, to our world, evidence of the heavenly reality Christ Jesus revealed.
Obviously, this is easier to say than to do. But we can do it. God's love and law of infinite good support our efforts to demonstrate heaven's presence here and now.
Since the kingdom of heaven is always at hand, despite what our eyes and ears tell us, evil isn't the frustrating reality it seems to be. It has no actual, God-derived cause, no divine Principle, to support its existence. That's why we can gain dominion over it and see it fall before the truth of infinite good.
Whether we live in 1990 or 2090, in a quiet village or in a country in the midst of a tumultuous revolution, in reality we all forever live in God's spiritual kingdom. We can come increasingly to realize this through prayer and Christly living. Then we'll experience more of heaven right where we are.
1Matthew 4:17. 2Science and Health, p. 598. 3Ibid., p. 590.