Today we remind ourselves of those who perished from our sight and of their loved ones who need our support. We are reminded of the need to fill our hearts not with loss, but with enduring courage, and with deep compassion for those affected. However we choose to spend this day in remembrance, it surely must include a deeper respect for life.
The value we each have as children of God must be upheld. As the early Christian Apostle Paul was inspired to write of our relationship to God, “Ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:18). This relationship we each have to our Father in heaven remains as eternal as divine Life itself. Paul understood, too, that nothing can separate us from this divine Life, which is also Love, as another apostle, John, brings out (see 1 John 4:16). God, divine Love, sustains us under all circumstances.
Perhaps more than ever we need to understand that the death of anyone is never the command or purpose of our Father-Mother God. Any hate, or the demise of even a single individual, is contrary to the law of God. The destruction of life bears no resemblance to our heavenly creator, the Supreme Ruler. Death and Life are actually opposites that have no relationship. Neither can support the other. The reign of divine Life cannot include death. Nor does God require bloodshed to further His kingdom on earth. In fact, God demands the complete opposite. His command is that everything in heaven and earth must magnify His nature as divine Life and Love.
Christ Jesus’ prayer, which all Christians pray, includes the petition, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and founder of this newspaper, gives this meaning for Jesus’ words: “Enable us to know, – as in heaven, so on earth, – God is omnipotent, supreme” ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 17). This line of the Lord’s Prayer states that the only power in heaven and earth is God, good. Everyone is embraced within this prayer, which expresses the desire that all may see the kingdom of Life, not death, as the only reality – as the unseen allness of Life, which we come to know here on earth through prayer, regeneration, and a growing spiritual perception of God. No one presented the reality of this Life to us better than Jesus.
This divinely anointed man taught that the kingdom of God is within us. Jesus explained that this kingdom is manifested in obeying the commandments to love God and to love our neighbor. Loving our neighbor is the only way we show our real love for God. It is within us to love. Jesus revealed to us that the man of God’s creating is as pure as His Maker. God’s children are not attached to evil, sin, disease, or death. He proved this every time he healed the sick, purified sinners, and raised the dead. His healing power culminated in his own resurrection, and ultimately his ascension above all hate and mortal life. The Christ, as the true idea of God, continues today to show us that our Father in heaven cherishes each one of us. The timeless effect of this fact for humanity is seen in the example of Jesus.
In speaking of his example to the world, Mrs. Eddy wrote that Jesus came that we “might lay hold of eternal Life, the great reality that concerns man, and understand the final fact, – that God is omnipotent and omnipresent; yea, ‘that the Lord He is God; there is none else beside Him,’ as the Scriptures declare” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 63).
Could there be a more divine and more powerful purpose than for each of us to understand this “final fact” of the omnipotence and omnipresence of God, eternal Life? We discover in the book of Genesis of the Bible that this fact includes our true identity as the image and likeness of God. Man then, as the image of Life, cannot be annihilated, nor can he be an annihilator. The men and women of God do not destroy but must by their very nature promote and support life.
Life, God, to be eternal, can include no destructive element. It can never be twisted to suit the machinations of its opposite, evil. This true understanding of the divine Life acts within human consciousness to liberate humanity from the mortal view of life, including any despotic control. It lifts our desires to holier and higher goals and actions. The law of Life is the eternal influence of God, the loving divine Principle of all being. Its outcome on humanity is love – not hate – and life – not death.
Mrs. Eddy states this operation of divine law in her book "Science and Health": “Truth has no consciousness of error. Love has no sense of hatred. Life has no partnership with death. Truth, Life, and Love are a law of annihilation to everything unlike themselves, because they declare nothing except God” (p. 243). To demonstrate this declaration is everyone’s divine right. In fact, no opposite statement or action has authority.
Today, may we find our hearts beating as one in our love for God and our neighbor. May the kingdom of God be understood and seen as the only power and animating influence on earth, as it is in heaven.