Where peace begins

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

Each weekday I receive an e-mail message from this newspaper, with the subject line, "News headlines from The Christian Science Monitor." Frequently my computer fails to read the entire line and leaves the subject this way: "News headlines from The Christ."

This got me to thinking.

What would be the news coming from Christ – "One world at peace"? While I don't see this headlining world news soon, it's worth working for, praying for.

In doing that, I've found it useful to look at the relationships that are closest to me and ask myself how peaceful they are.

At one time I yearned to have a more genuinely peaceful relationship with my sister. On the surface we got along, but I was always biting my tongue regarding something or other that she said.

During this period in my life I was learning to see each individual as one with God, reflecting the Christ qualities that Jesus so clearly lived. I was also beginning to learn the value of prayer in promoting peace.

The next time I went to visit my sister, I prayed much of the seven-hour trip, seeing in my sister all the qualities that I had come to understand that she reflected as the daughter of God.

As I drove into her driveway, it suddenly came to me that we were one, and that all the truths I had declared about her were equally true about me. In this oneness, there was no room for conflict; there was only room for mutual respect and peace. That visit, and all subsequent ones, were beautifully peaceful, both outwardly and within.

The concept of oneness delights me. I love the fact that there is one God, governing all. And I love the implications this has for all humanity.

The Bible states, "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another" (Rom. 12:4, 5). The oneness of God and Christ is reflected in the essential oneness of us all.

Despite the many ways in which humanity is divided – races and cultures, circumstances and history – we are one as the children of God, and brothers and sisters. We are eternally related one to another. Living in the light of this oneness brings peace on the individual level and helps contribute to peace universally.

Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, wrote, "... Love is the Principle of unity," and continued, "We see eye to eye and know as we are known, reciprocate kindness and work wisely, in proportion as we love" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 117).

Every prayer to the one God, to Love, the "Principle of unity" by whatever name, is answered and fulfilled. Each one strengthens the bonds of fellowship and helps lead toward peace.

Jesus' prayer for all his brethren:

Father, that they may be one,

Echoes down through all the ages,

Nor prayed he for these alone

But for all, that through all time God's will be done.

One the Mind and Life of all things,

For we live in God alone;

One the Love whose ever- presence

Blesses all and injures none.

Safe within this Love we find all being one.

Day by day the understanding

Of our oneness shall increase,

Till among all men and nations

Warfare shall forever cease,

So God's children all shall dwell

in joy and peace.

Violet Hay, "The Christian Science Hymnal," No. 157

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