In the current economic turmoil and also in the trauma of wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, political leaders from many nations are struggling to find intelligent solutions. Fear of failure and doubt about the right course sometimes prevent them from taking the timely, rational, logical, and nonpartisan action that citizens hope for. Instead of a climate of stability, purpose, and poise, it sometimes seems as though wrangling, arrogance, and anger predominate.
One of the best ways to help our governments and effect change for the better is through prayer that recognizes all parties as made in the likeness of God – intelligent, peaceful, spiritual. Prayer enables us to set aside feelings of frustration on the issues and ask ourselves the fundamental question “What sort of kingdom are we seeking?”
Looking to the Bible for the answer always brings inspiration and a blessing. Here’s one answer it gives, in Jesus’ words: “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Such words are a poignant reminder that we should be looking for the kingdom of God first; and the only place we can find it is within our own consciousness. Since our outward world is very much a reflection of our inward world, it follows that an improved understanding of God’s kingdom must express itself in better government.
Another question we can ask ourselves is “Who is reigning?” When we have enough courage and humility to accept that God is both infinite and omnipotent, then the answer to the question (as found in the Bible) must be “The Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Rev. 19:6). To me this means that because God made us, peace, joy, harmony, love, unity, serenity, and poise actually reign within the consciousness of each of us. This was certainly the case with Jesus, who expected us to follow his example. This spiritual foundation gave him dominion over all things. He never let his understanding be shaken by human circumstances.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, pointed out the importance of spiritual sense, in contrast to the material. She wrote, “Material sense does not unfold the facts of existence; but spiritual sense lifts human consciousness into eternal Truth” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 95).
If the question “who is reigning?” is a difficult one, I find it helpful to remember that one of God’s greatest gifts to us is the gift of consciousness, or mind. An Icelandic version of the Bible translates God as Mind. Since the Christ is Emmanuel, or “God with us” (see Matt. 1:23), it makes sense for us to realize that the kingdom of heaven is a mental state in which all is harmonious, loving, and serene. In order to hold and experience the reality of such qualities, we have to cultivate them.
When I have seen that consciousness is such a precious faculty and how it affects experience, I have learned to be much more careful about the quality of the thoughts I allow into consciousness. It does have an impact in our lives.
Jesus had such confidence in God’s government that he evidently took no part in politics, didn’t stand as a spokesman for the Jewish people, didn’t found any “order” to transform society. Yet his spiritual understanding radically changed society, and his teachings continue to prove transformative centuries later.
So when we’re inclined to think that society is drowning in political turmoil, we can find comfort and dominion in perceiving the loving presence of God that Jesus demonstrated. Our divine Father-Mother will continue to reveal Himself, Herself, and bless each one until the whole of society is leavened.
For a Spanish translation of this article, see The Herald of Christian Science.