Whose Government?

THE tide of changes sweeping over many nations shows no sign of letting up. From Eastern Europe to South Africa to the former Soviet Union, political upheavals are shattering outworn systems. New regimes are emerging at an astounding pace. An observer may well ask, Whose government will last? Who will succeed in establishing the long-term freedom, justice, and stability that so many people yearn for?

These questions are not unique to our times. In Old Testament times the prophet Isaiah foresaw the coming of an ideal ruler--a Messiah--who would liberate Israel. Isaiah's deep spiritual vision, enabled him to say: "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder . . . . Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. No such ideal king appeared in the lifetime of Isaiah, but Christendom accepts the birth of Christ Jesus as the fulfillment

of this ancient prophesy.

What sort of government did Christ Jesus establish? It was not a political system, to be sure, but rather he brought an understanding of the reign of God, divine Spirit, to the hearts of his hearers. Jesus preached that the kingdom of God was a present reality. It could be found, he said, not in a particular locale, but within. The reign of divine Spirit would be discovered individually as men and women lived in obedience to the laws of God.

Jesus' remarkable healing works proved that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. And he revealed, for all to see, the reign of God--omnipotent, divine Love. The mercy and power of God's love were tangibly felt when the lepers, the blind, lame, and deaf were restored to health through prayer alone.

Christian Science, discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy, explains that the Christ, Truth, which Jesus taught, is very much present and potent today. Although Jesus is no longer here on earth, the eternal Christ is still speaking to receptive hearts through the Gospel message.

Our individual acceptance of Christ, Truth, can make a difference in the governments of nations. How? Christ awakens us to perceive the spiritual goodness in man. Divine Truth enables us to identify men and women as they really are: as children of God, formed by infinite Spirit to reflect the divine nature.

The Christ frees us from the material view that sees only mortals driven by self-interest, self-gratification, and destructive impulses. This false view, if it were accepted as true, would hinder the progress of mankind at every turn. While the spiritual view, on the other hand, nourishes and supports all that is just and right. The demand on each of us is to yield consistently to the government of God and His Christ. We need to be active and persistent in our efforts to obey God and live in accord with His laws. We need to deepen our faith in omnipotent Spirit, our faith that God is able to guide all His children in the path of righteousness.

Mrs. Eddy speaks of the primacy of God's government this way in her book, Rudimental Divine Science: "You must feel and know that God alone governs man; that His government is harmonious; that He is too pure to behold iniquity, and divides His power with nothing evil or material; that material laws are only human beliefs, which govern mortals wrongfully.

As we follow rapidly changing world events, we may sometimes wonder, "Which government is in control? But even as we witness the re-forming of nations, we can affirm the operation of God's government and be certain that "the government shall be upon his shoulder. Our understanding of the supremacy of Christ, Truth, will help establish justice and peace.

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