Kings, kingdoms, and who's in charge
A Christian Science perspective: In the midst of so much turmoil, is there something solid on which we can rest our prayers for peace?
Events in the Middle East are unfolding at breathtaking speed, as people demand better and fairer rule in their countries. Human thought is stirring and expanding to a higher understanding of freedom, honesty, and government. In the midst of so much turmoil, is there something solid on which we can rest our prayers for peace?
One thing that helps me is Christ Jesus’ teaching that God is good, loving, and cares for each of us as a father cares for his children. This tender care is with the people of the Middle East, who are seeking a new and better government, and for us as we pray for inspiration to govern our lives.
Jesus likened divine Love’s government to a good and righteous kingdom that would be accessible to all people. The Gospels are filled with descriptions of this kingdom and the promise that everyone can have a place in it. Understanding this kingdom of divine Love supports our prayers for the redemption of human governments and can also uplift our individual lives.
In some respects the various human kingdoms that are described in the books of First and Second Kings and other parts of the Bible show the human striving toward a higher sense of government. Bad kings like Ahab may have hung on for a long time, but they were deposed. Good kings reigned and accomplished much for their people.
Yet the only way to have the reign of continuous good is through accepting God’s kingdom, which is eternal and permanently loving. In this place all peoples, nations, and languages can be at peace with one another under divinely intelligent government. Jesus saw this kingdom of God as present spiritual fact, not as an earthly empire or future promise. By calling himself the Son of man, he presented himself as the Way-shower to this kingdom of Love, of divine Spirit. His living of the healing Christ – the evidence of God’s love for humanity – helped people experience its blessings.
Each of us can experience these blessings also. Through a spiritual consciousness of heart and mind, we can accept God as All and do our best to be obedient to His will. The Lord’s Prayer, which states, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” shows that it’s right to expect God’s goodness to be present with us now, in tangible ways.
These ways can include our finding peace in our own lives, but also the world’s finding peace in the Middle East and other troubled areas. By recognizing Spirit, God, as the source of true government, we are supporting the reign and rule of the kingdom of God, good, right here on earth.
One of the wonderful things about this kingdom is that it isn’t distant. We don’t have to search for years to find it. Jesus said: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Each of us can live in this kingdom, under the universal law of Life. Making this commitment has a purifying effect, so that whatever is not in obedience to divine Principle is removed from our experience.
In the opening line of the Christian Science textbook, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. vii). Oppressive rules and government must fall and be replaced with God’s laws of harmony, justice, and freedom. Here, every citizen has the freedom to live life at its highest form of righteousness. Those who seek the will of God will find the direction and liberty that the one divine Mind brings. To these, God’s kingdom is not a far-off promise but here and now.