Democracy and God's Kingdom

MANY nations are facing what seems like an uncertain future as they grapple with both old and new forms of government. While each nation must reach its own conclusion as to which type of government is best, each of us can support honest efforts toward progress. One of the ways to do this is through prayer. Whether or not we are citizens of a country that is striving for greater freedom, our prayers can help to clarify our own thinking as well as provide support to others.

Christ Jesus understood the importance, to his life and the lives of others, of living under God's government. Indeed, it was essential to his ministry. Yet he also must have recognized that human government--whether good or bad--would have an impact on his followers. In his teachings, he made clear that each of us has a spiritual obligation to live within the context of God's kingdom. And by living in this Christly manner, we are able to bring that spiritual and divine government to bear on every aspect

of our lives.

In Luke's Gospel, Jesus contrasts the goals and purposes of human government with God's kingdom. He speaks of the need for food and drink, for clothing. Then he goes on to say: "All these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Christ Jesus isn't denying the legitimacy of these concerns; he is asking us, however, to look at our lives in a spiritual context

and to put God first. This approach requires us to give up the belief that we are simply struggling within a material environment of ever-decreasing resources. Instead, we can begin to understand the spiritual fact that we are in truth inseparable from God, whose goodness is never-ending. But in order to prove this, we need to live in agreement with God's law.

Some people believe that divine law would, of necessity, be harsh and restrictive. This is because they haven't seen that God is divine Love. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, learned through her study of the Bible that God can be described as both divine Love and divine Principle, which shows both the goodness of God and His unlimited love for all His children. She writes of God in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Love is impartial and universal in its adap tation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.'

In our prayers, then, we can trust that divine Love is present and is caring for us. We can also rely on divine Principle to keep us safe in God's law, which--as the outcome of Love--is protective and progressive in its impact. This knowledge gives us the courage to take a moral stand in our experience and to try to lead purer, more honest and loving lives.

If we embrace God's government in this way, it is only natural that we will long to see more kindness, more decency, at higher levels of government. Here our prayers and our certainty of Love's presence will lead us to the correct steps to take. Through our prayers we will have the wisdom to ask the right questions at the right time. And if we need to pursue these issues more actively, the correct course will become evident to us.

Sometimes the peace and abundance of God's kingdom may seem far from us and from the country we live in. But when we feel this way, we can redouble our prayers and trust that divine Principle, Love, will be leading us and our nations to the freedom we long for.

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