Probably no reader of this newspaper needs to be reminded that according to popular opinion, if not actual calculations, this is the last day of the year, the century, and the millennium.
Countless surveys have asked for the most momentous achievement of the last millennium, and the most significant person. For millions of people on earth, the answers may be found only by measuring the events of the past 1,000 years against what they consider the greatest event throughout history - the life of Jesus Christ.
His works of healing and his own resurrection show them that God is the origin and controller of all life. In fact, that God is Life itself. Unlike the great discoveries of the physical sciences often cited as millennial landmarks, the unique events of Jesus' life did not explain physical law or add to the understanding of physical law. They both transcended and subjugated matter. They revealed an evidently higher law than matter, the law of divine Love.
The works of Jesus proved God is supreme. They were so monumental that some people, then and today, who were and are unable to explain them, deny they ever occurred. But a case can be made that no other achievement in the history of humankind has equaled these events, and that Christ Jesus was the most important figure ever to walk this little planet.
Can any achievement in the past 1,000 years be uttered in the same breath? If so, it reasonably would be one that is connected with his achievement, since nothing can ever exceed it.
Well, I have a nomination. I'm a grandfather a few times over. A few years ago, my daughter was holding her baby in her arms when it gagged, turned blue, and stopped breathing. My daughter thought something was lodged in her baby's throat and that the baby was dead. She was understandably terrified and knew that emergency medical services were too far away. There was no time to wait.
But she also knew there was an ability to connect with God immediately, and that God could heal. She refused to panic. She called out to me to pray, and we affirmed aloud, insisted, that God is universal good, that life is spiritual and indestructible, and that nothing can destroy it. My daughter's courage and steadfastness reminded me of the Shunammite woman's in the fourth chapter of the book of Second Kings.
The baby stirred. Her color quickly returned, and she regained consciousness. There were no aftereffects. She is now a normal kindergartner.
Is there a connection between this child's healing and the healings performed by Jesus? Though they are not identical, they might be seen as based on the same laws of God: that He is All and that He is good. That each identity is inseparably at one with God. Jesus said clearly, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30).
My granddaughter is alive. So for me, the event that made her healing possible might reasonably be considered a candidate for the most important event in this millennium. I realize that's a very personal perspective. Other people may have different explanations for the healing. Some may think I'm exaggerating.
Nevertheless, our family saw it happen. And for us, the event in this millennium that made it possible was the rediscovery in 1866 of the laws of infinite Love, or God, which earlier had made possible Jesus' subjugation of physical conditions.
The individual through whom that discovery came was a woman of true vision, Mary Baker Eddy. Might her work deserve consideration as the most significant event of the second millennium? For my family, there's no question about that. At the very least, this possibility could position her major work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," before the world in a new light for the next millennium.
The millennium is
a state and stage of
going on since
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society