The triumph of spiritual might

A Christian Science perspective.

We live in a world where things can be too small to see, too many to count, and too far to measure. We fret about trillions of dollars in budget debt. We’re dazzled by Hubble photos from outer space of a universe blinking with billions of stars and planets light-years away.

We cannot fully understand such vastness. Yet we know that God who made all and fills all space is magnified by it. We are comforted by the Bible’s assurance that God knows every hair of our head, notes the fall of every sparrow, and pours out blessings more in number than the sand (see Matthew 10:29, 30).

Like the Psalmist praying in wonder at God’s heavenly reign, we ask: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” (Psalms 8:4).

Men and women have always stood agape before the incomprehensible. Imagine the awe early man must have felt gazing at the sky’s starry splendor. To make sense of the world’s vastness, our forebears invented a fanciful world teeming with good and evil spirits. Greek mythology pictured immortal gods toying with mortal man for their own amusement; a giant race of Titans who blamed Pandora, the first mortal woman, for opening a forbidden box that gave the world its troubles. Classical literature sees man as a hapless victim of fate with little power over his lot in life. Homer’s great epic poem "The Illiad" sang: “The immortals knew no care, yet the lot they spin for man is full of sorrow.” And in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” we’re tempted to agree with the fairy Puck as he looks down and declares, “Lord, what fools these mortals be.”

Some counted Mary Baker Eddy, a 19th-century theologian and writer who founded Christian Science, among the foolish. She was ridiculed as a preacher of apostasy when women of her day could not vote, let alone found a religion so opposed to conventional belief. Eddy taught that God made man Godlike, purely spiritual and eternal like Himself, not the product of apes or dust; neither of a world created in six days nor by Darwinian evolution over the millenniums.

In her primary work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Eddy wrote, “The description of man as purely physical, or as both material and spiritual, – but in either case dependent upon his physical organization, – is the Pandora box, from which all ills have gone forth, especially despair” (p. 170).

Eddy, the discoverer of the Science of the Christ, taught that the allegory of Adam and Eve bore no more truth relating to our real origin as spiritual ideas than the story of Pandora did to human woe. Her teaching was based on the first chapter of Genesis, which states that men and women, made in the image and likeness of God, are perfect spiritual ideas, not blood and bones, and could not be less than their Maker since there is no imperfect God to reflect. Countless healings performed by Eddy, and countless more accomplished by her followers, proved that God-inspired prayer could meet even the biggest of challenges. Years later when one of her students asked how he could learn to heal as she did, Eddy answered: “When you believe what you say. I believe every statement of Truth I make” (Robert Townsend Warneck and Yvonne Caché von Fettweis, “Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer, Amplified Edition” p. 101).

Christianity was based on Jesus’ mastery over all ills, including death. Yet the Savior claimed no personal power beyond what we all enjoy as children of God. Jesus told his disciples, “If ye have faith, and doubt not,… ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:21, 22).

The world of matter may appear immense, but God is greater. Nothing is too hard for God or, by reflection, for His children. With faith and the understanding of God, we can all expect to marvel at the triumph of spiritual might over material conditions.

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