WE'VE been hearing a lot lately about a "new world order. Often, though, the power to change things seems to be with the movers and shakers in the world's governments--far removed from you and me. As I thought about how much renewal is needed, I realized there was something I could do to help. I remembered Christ Jesus tells us about "new and "old. Matthew's Gospel records his words: "Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
As I thought about Jesus' words, I saw that the order we need is one based on spirituality. A mortal, material world can't receive this new order. But the new world-- the real world, based on divine Spirit, God--is already governed by God's law.
Making such a new world concrete in our lives can't simply be left up to government representatives and officials. The love, prayer, and spiritual muscle of each one of us are needed to uncover this world of Spirit. The Bible encourages even our smallest contributions to this effort. "Know ye not, we read in First Corinthians, "that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? We should never underestimate the effect that each one doing his or her part has on the whole. Haven't you perhaps wondered ho w
a work situation or a local community or even a personal relationship could ever hold together? Certainly, that's what many feel about the complexities of situations in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. Yet in the world, as in our own lives and communities, problems are solved as we uncover more of the spiritual reality that makes a new world possible.
We each have a part to play in this spiritual renewal. If we continue to see man as mortal, full of mortal drives, fears, hates, and so forth, however, we'll never start. But when we uplift our perception of man and understand him as the Bible describes man--spiritual, good, made in the likeness of God--we'll have in our own hearts the basis for a new world. This world is based on divine Spirit and has a heavenly order in which no one is left out, no one is dominated.
During Biblical times, as today, there was chaos, fighting, and suffering in the world. Yet, throughout the Bible one central, powerful presence emerges. That is the God who is divine Love. God has always been God; as we learn more of His presence and power, we awake and respond to God's love.
I often think of the Revelator, John, in connection with a new world. When he wrote Revelation, the final book of the Bible, he was in exile on Patmos. Yet his love and vision of God and man in God's image was so clear in his thought that he could see "a new heaven and a new earth. This restored idea of who God is and who man is as God's child is really not so much a matter of governments or treaties as it is a matter of spiritual growth on the part of individuals throughout the world.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "The Revelator tells us of 'a new heaven and a new earth.' Have you ever pictured this heaven and earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme wisdom? And in the next paragraph she continues: "Let us rid ourselves of the belief that man is separated from God, and obey only the divine Principle, Life and Love. Here is the great point of departure for all true spiritual gr o
As we individually learn more of this spiritual heaven and earth, every corner of the globe will see more evidence of "a new heaven and a new earth. The heavenly order accompanying the new spiritual order can't be delivered by armies or governmental decrees or even by political negotiation. God's powerful love is working right in our midst every day. As we turn to it and what it's doing, we are praying. Such prayer leads us to see more clearly the new world of God and the spiritual order it carries w
ith it. And then we really won't have to look far before we begin to see changes happening in our families and communities--and in the world.
Healing through prayer is explored in more detail in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel.
Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. . . . We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be fo u
nd of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
II Peter 3:8, 9, 13, 14