Recently I met someone who was concerned about events described in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Like many people, she believed that this Scripture foretells the end of the world as we know it. But she longed for a fuller understanding of how we relate to God. She was full of questions. She wanted to know if her life mattered and if she had value. She loved her family and wanted to know what had happened to loved ones who had died. Would she ever see them again?
It was a pleasure for me to give her a copy of a book I have read and loved for many years, which I knew would answer those and other questions. It is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The term Key to the Scriptures has a double meaning for me; it does refer to a special section of the book that elucidates particular subjects in the Bible. But it also points to how the book opens up Scriptural messages in general and makes them more understandable.
Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science when she was healed of severe injuries caused by an accident. After all hope had been abandoned for her recovery, she read in her Bible an account of Christ Jesus' healing of a sick man. Through understanding its message, she recovered fully. This amazed her friends and set her off on articulating the truth she had glimpsed. She wrote later, in Science and Health: "For three years after my discovery, I sought the solution of this problem of Mind-healing, searched the Scriptures and read little else, kept aloof from society, and devoted time and energies to discovering a positive rule. . . . I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing, and I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration" (p. 109).
Christian Science shows that the teachings of Jesus stem from divine laws that are always in force, even today. In other words, the spiritual healing he practiced was not just something for his day, and each of us can practice it right now. When we do, it really changes how we live. Instead of being the helpless victims of disease or other troubles, we can overcome them.
On more than one occasion, over quite a few years, I have been able to prevent and heal colds, flu, and the effects of injuries by remembering that I have a choice. I do not have to be a victim, and neither do you! By learning the truth of the Bible, with the help of Science and Health, you will find that your body, career, home, life, family -- every aspect of your existence -- will respond to the healing influence of spiritual understanding and prayer. This is the freedom that Jesus was speaking of when he told people, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
The basis for this truth is that we are of God -- that is, spiritual. God is always with us. Science and Health shows this to be a fact. It makes clear that each of us has opportunities to experience good now.
If you're young, you don't have to wait to develop your full potential in intelligence, strength, goodness. Right now, you are inseparable from God, and this means you can know your spiritual nature and have a better life. Living from this standpoint opens you up to the unlimited wisdom and insight that God gives to all.
If you are older, instead of "winding down" you can expect to go forward with vigor and joy; both the Bible and Science and Health make clear that God is Life, your Life, infinite and unendingly good. Everyone has the opportunity to prove at any age that under God's care progress, and never decline, is natural and normal.
Science and Health gives me practical answers to daily needs, delving into spiritual ideas and opening up the Bible. It makes me think about who I am and what I can be. It helps me when I am sick and in trouble. It rejoices with me when I am well and happy. It has opened up my life to the Bible in a way I never dreamed possible.
This week is National Bible Week in the United States.