If you’ve ever visited Mexico City’s colossal Catedral Metropolitana – nearly three centuries in the making – you’ve doubtless noticed what is even more eye-catching than the cathedral itself: The whole structure is sinking into the ground. (Happily, experts racing to remedy this crisis have scored significant successes in recent decades.) The problem has several causes. Layers of soft clay lie below the surface. An underground aquifer has been overtaxed. Much of the structure was planted on top of prehispanic structures. In other words, it traces back to a foundation that’s less than solid.
But then, that’s the core problem in so many areas of life. The foundation needs to be sound if what’s planted on it is going to be sound. Consider government at the national level. What kind of foundation it has may be almost as important as what type of government it is. A government may have laudable ideals embedded in the nation’s constitution. Still, the government is going to be shakier, less stormproof, if partisan bitterness and distrust permeate the subsoil of thought. Especially if that bitterness and distrust extend to all major political parties. But get government back on mental terrain that is less shaky and more solution-oriented, and you get it back on solid ground.
The prophet Isaiah glimpsed this need, and grasped the remedy. He simply stated, “The government shall be upon his [Christ’s] shoulder” (Isa. 9:6). Since Isaiah wrote this around 700 years prior to the time of Christ Jesus, the passage must be pointing spiritual seekers to the timeless Christ, the Rock of Truth, available to all humanity. Think of that: government shouldered by Christ, which Christian Science teaches is the spiritual message of God’s love for humanity, a powerful healing presence. Prayer, filled with awareness of this biblical fact, can’t help solidifying the spiritual underpinnings so needed for better government today.
Think of true government buttressed by the shoulder of Christ, or, to switch metaphors, grounded on the rock, Christ. It was this foundational fact of the healing, saving, redeeming Christ on which Jesus so faithfully grounded his own thinking and his own healing ministry.
Mary Baker Eddy, a devoted follower of Jesus, wrote in her primary work on Christian Science a description for this “Rock” that begins, “Spiritual foundation; Truth” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 593). Today, can the thought of individuals – whether politicians or conscientious citizens – be filled with awareness of the rock-solid nature of this spiritual foundation, this uninterrupted presence of Truth? Absolutely. Then the shakiness spawned of partisan bitterness and distrust retreats. Governments begin to find the better grounding so needed right now.
Of course, one could argue that engaging in this prayer now is a bit out of sequence. When building, it’s obviously desirable to lay the foundation first, and then build. But the rock-solid thought in prayer is foundation work that can occur retroactively. As the foundational message of divine unity that comes from God to human consciousness, the Christ acts in strengthening, unifying ways. Government that’s on the shoulder of Christ begins to dawn.