A Christian Science perspective.

One morning last winter I discovered how stunning a New England beach can be in January. As I gazed down from the snowy edge of a sand dune, the water seemed like a huge sheet of cobalt glass stretching out before me, mirroring an equally flawless porcelain-blue sky above. Not one wave stirred, not one cloud wandered by. Sea and sky appeared to have reached some grand agreement or bond with each other. All I could think about was the presence of God.

It can happen to anyone. At some moment in an ordinary day, we might suddenly feel connected to something greater than ourselves – something all good and deeply spiritual. Even an honest yearning to feel such a bond could hint at the presence of the infinite. The fact is that right now we are in a sacred and timeless relationship to God – a bond older than the earth itself, yet ever fresh and unfolding. In the Bible, a psalm reads: “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalms 90:1, 2).

According to one dictionary, part of the definition of “bond” is “a uniting or binding element or force.” It can also mean an unbreakable covenant or pledge, as in a marriage. The word suggests strength and durability – an unyielding power – such as the bond of affection a mother has for her child.

Christian Science reveals the wholly spiritual bond that exists between God, who is Spirit, and His offspring or image, spiritual man and woman. This bond or union never involves restriction or hindrance but implies freedom and the fulfillment of infinite possibilities. If God feels somewhat distant to us, we can awake to this dynamic relationship we have with Him.

In the textbook of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy explained: “Immortal man was and is God’s image or idea, even the infinite expression of infinite Mind, and immortal man is coexistent and coeternal with that Mind. He has been forever in the eternal Mind, God; but infinite Mind can never be in man, but is reflected by man” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 336).

The male and female of God’s creating reflect God’s all-goodness in boundless individuality. As Mind’s ideas, we can no more be separated from Mind, or Spirit, than effect can be separated from cause. In truth, we depend solely upon God, divine Principle, for life, intelligence, direction, and purpose.

Christian Science explains how Christ Jesus proved this fact. He was continuously aware of the one, all-loving cause and identified God as his source in such words as, “I proceeded forth and came from God” (John 8:42) and “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). Perfectly apprehending his identity as God’s reflection, he boasted no self-determination or personal power, but declared, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” (John 5:19).

It wasn’t enough for Jesus to utter these words. He proved them day after day in his interactions with people, healing multitudes of debilitating illnesses and diseases. Indeed, his life – from his virgin birth to his resurrection and ascension – was an illumination of the saving Principle behind his words. He expressed the Christ, universal Truth, revealing itself to everyone and bearing witness to the inseparability of God and His image and likeness. Christian Science celebrates this living Christ, the spirit of Truth, which reveals to our waking thought our spiritual bond to God.

Yet in our day-to-day struggles, an opposite picture seems to play itself out. Instead of a bond to God’s peace and grace, it may appear that a breach has occurred in the grand scheme of things. There may seem to be breaches between friends or family, or separations such as divorce or widowhood. Mrs. Eddy wrote: “Separated from man, who expresses Soul, Spirit would be a nonentity; man, divorced from Spirit, would lose his entity. But there is, there can be, no such division, for man is coexistent with God” (Science and Health, pp. 477-478). Instead of resignation to suffering, we can rebel against the notion, however convincingly presented, that any rupture has occurred in our relationship with our Father-Mother God. Our bond with God supersedes all else as the determining factor in our lives.

Is there any evil to which we are bound – some impossible predicament or health problem or financial woe that can so wrap its chains around us that we are made blind to the arm of God holding us? God’s love waits, ready to help.

All that seems to separate us from experiencing the love of God is a misconception, a false sense of separation from Him, which spiritual understanding destroys. Our unbreakable bond with God will increasingly appear – as pure and sparkling as that January morning when I witnessed the ocean reflecting the sky in perfect harmony.

Adapted from The Christian Science Journal.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.