When I was a young boy I received a profound jolt from something I read. It was the scientific fact that our sun would run out of fuel and expire in some huge number of years, perhaps several billion. At first, I became quite cavalier about this prediction, asserting to myself and to others that since I wouldn't be around when it happened, I really couldn't care less about the event. But the notion of solar demise haunted me with a vague dread for many a year afterward.
In fact, it wasn't until I had become a serious student of Christian Science that I was finally set free from the specter of the sun's collapse. That's when I also realized why an experientially remote event could trouble me so. I had begun to see the deep need for evidence of a fixed, immutable, universal Principle. A need for evidence of lasting good. A need for evidence of God. To the physical senses, the sun (though admittedly only a medium-sized star in the total universe) is the object of greatest sheer potency and size within our ken. No wonder it's disheartening to contemplate its failure!
But the truth of being, as understood in Christian Science, is that the universe created by God is really spiritual and eternal, as is man himself. Why, it might be asked, is that a ''Christian'' teaching? Christ Jesus, the master Christian, taught and illuminated in his healing works that God is immortal Spirit, and needs to be appreciated as such. As Divine Spirit is the Principle, the Soul, of the universe, its creation, including man, is necessarily spiritual. This spiritual basis of creation rules out all that is fleeting, destructible, material, as either creator or created. But it doesn't rule out identity, individuality, or true substance. As the Bible declares, ''In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . .All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.'' n1 What divine Spirit has made must be spiritual and enduring.
n1 John 1:1, 3.
My fear had been centered on the belief that if the mighty sun could ''die,'' nothing could be powerful enough to be permanent, and I had deeply hoped that something would survive, be eternal. The answer lay in spiritual reality. In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy n2 writes, ''God is infinite, the only Life, substance, Spirit, or Soul, the only intelligence of the universe, including man.'' n3
n2 Mary Baker Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n3 Science and Health, p. 330.
Spiritual perception, cultivated through prayer, inspired Bible study, and purity of thought, enables us to glimpse, to spiritually sense, eternal reality. We learn to look beyond the counterfeit material universe to undying, unquenchable Principle. We see that we are not truly insignificant mortals, wandering through an uncertain world, but that each of us, in his actual selfhood, is the perfect, undying reflection of Love. We glimpse the fact that creation is actually the spiritual handiwork of the all-knowing, all-loving God. It reflects His foreverness.
Remembering that the word gospel means ''good news,'' we can be assured that Christian revelation is the best news ever! ''Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'' n4 To begin to understand God as the eternal Principle, Love, and man as His image, is indeed freeing! It's a profound, healing standpoint that can be proved practical and effective even in the smallest details of our lives.
n4 John 8:32.
Man, as created by God, might be likened to the sun's beams, in that he eternally manifests all the qualities of God, Soul - harmony, purity, beauty, intelligence - though he is not himself their source. Therefore man, in reality, is free from sin, sickness, and destruction.
As this sunlight of revelation concerning perfect God and perfect spiritual man dawns in thought - as we ponder and assimilate it - we are progressively freed from dreary beliefs of matter's decay. Remaining conscious of the Father's warm, enduring affection for each of us, we find evidence of His love in bodies healed and lives harmonized, as the sunlight of Soul casts out fear and leads our aspirations to God. DAILY BIBLE VERSE His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation. Daniel 4:3