A MAN once passed a hall where a Christian Science lecture was about to begin. The title attracted him, and he went in. He liked what he heard, and when he was asked afterward if any particular point had especially appealed to him he answered: ``Oh yes. The speaker said I was the son of God. Nobody has ever called me that before.'' This man happened to be from a disadvantaged background, and the thought of being the son of God had a special significance for him. It brought a new sense of self-respect and dignity. And anyone from any walk of life who begins to identify himself as the son of God, or what the Bible also calls God's image and likeness, will find this gives him a very deep sense of satisfaction and makes him feel cared for by a wisdom and power greater than his own.
``Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God,''1 the Bible tells us. And the Lord's Prayer begins, ``Our Father which art in heaven.''2 But how is it possible to equate what seem to be two such different concepts as the sons of God and the children of men? The offspring of flesh that we usually think ourselves to be seems always to be inhibited by personal shortcomings, by family background, nationality, position, and all the rest of it. But the importance of all these, and their impact, begin to fade as we let the son of God--our genuine, loving, Godlike nature--shine through in all our everyday experiences: as we begin to think as the son of God would think, speak as the son of God would speak, and act as the son of God would act.
Isn't this rather a tall order? And how can it help with mundane tasks? To come to feel through prayer that our real selfhood isn't an inept or sinful mortal but the very likeness of the divine nature gives us a new sense of poise and assurance. It enables us to do more than we could before. It brings a new dimension to our lives and purifies our view of others. Sometimes, too, it brings a cautionary reminder: ``The son of God wouldn't do a thing like that!''
Christ Jesus said that God was his Father. Jesus is known as the Son of God, and he showed us that God is also our Father--approachable, dependable, infinitely resourceful divine Love. As God's son, man is under His care. The Master's parable of the prodigal son, in which the father assures his elder son, ``Thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine,'' points to the creator's constant love for His creation.
Jesus didn't just go to the Father when he wanted something, but was always conscious of the divine presence. He not only accepted his unity with the Father but treasured it. He didn't want to have a will of his own, because he understood himself to be the expression of his Father, obedient to His will, which is infinitely wise.
God and man, Father and son, have an eternal relationship. The son needs the Father to guide and care for him. The Father needs the son to represent him, to bear witness to His nature. Neither can do without the other. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``If God, who is Life, were parted for a moment from His reflection, man, during that moment there would be no divinity reflected. The Ego would be unexpressed, and the Father would be childless,--no Father.'' And she adds: ``But man cannot be separated for an instant from God, if man reflects God. Thus Science proves man's existence to be intact.''4
All this is particularly important in today's world with its disparity of human aspirations and its clashes of wills and interests. But nobody can fully benefit from his understanding of man's sonship with God unless he realizes that everyone else has that relationship to the creator. Each of God's offspring is equally important, equally loved, equally blessed by his Father. Even a glimpse of this relationship has a wonderfully unifying effect in human experience.
1I John 3:1. 2Matthew 6:9. 3Luke 15:31. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 306. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Hath we not all one father? hath not one God created us? Malachi 2:10