Recently a historical film on the life of Christ Jesus came to our city, and it initiated a lot of discussion on whether or not a Second Coming would occur. "Do you think Christ will ever come again?"
"Oh, come on, don't be ridiculous!"
"But seriously, didn't he say he would? I believe Jesus when he said he's come again."
As the arguments continued for and against, it suddenly occurred to me that what was needed was clarification of terms. Who was Jesus? What is Christ? What constitutes a Second Coming?
I was grateful for some insight I had gained into these questions. The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m states, "Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ." n1 Jesus so thoroughly understood the divine idea, so completely realized man's relation with God, that his life became an embodiment of the Christ. He healed disease and showed the solution for every problem inherent in the human condition.
n1 Science and Health,m p. 473;
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, refers to these works of Jesus in the following way in Science and Health:m "They are the sign of Immanuel, or 'God with us," -- a divine influence ever present in human consciousness and repeating itself, coming now as was promised aforetime,
To preach deliverance to the captives [of sense],
And recovering of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty them that are bruised." n2
n2 ibid.,m p. xi;
Jesus was so aware of this divine influence in his thought, felt so totally at one with it, that he demonstrated God's healing power naturally. And once we acknowledge this Christly impulse in our own consciousness, we'll begin to see its effects, too. The Christ is present now, whether one is in a gravel pit, a mental hospital, or a shopping center, and if one is actively seeking to define this holy presence in his own life, it will naturally be seen in one's words and actions.
A woman had a casual acquaintance tell her that it's a good idea to read the Bible every day. She embarked immediately on a deep, daily study of the four Gospels. This in turn gave her a feeling of being loved by God, a feeling of joy and confidence. What had caused that woman to listen attentively to and act immediately on a thought put forward by someone she barely knew? The Christ, operating in her consciousness. She had felt its benign influence.
A man in England was rising horseback and seething with anger. He'd just had another quarrel with his neighbor and was fuming with frustration and hatred when suddenly an unusual thing happened. All the anger drained away. There had been no obvious reason for this -- the neighbor had not changed -- yet this man, responding to a Christly impulse in his own thought, was free of the hellish thoughts he'd just been entertaining.
This divine influence is in the heart of every human being. It may be singing out loud and clear or it may be muffled almost to the point of extinction, but it's always within prayerful reach. It was available to Moses, Elisha, and other thinking people of centuries past. In 1866, it was healed of what many believed was a fatal injury from a fall.
"Has Christ come again on earth?" someone asked Mrs. Eddy after her healing.
"Christ never left," she answered; "Christ is Truth, and Truth is always here , -- the impersonal Saviour." n3
n3 See Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 180.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE If ye love me, keep my commandments, And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you. John 14:15-17