God's purpose is peace

A Christian Science perspective: Commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I inspires a plea for peace.

Even a quick scan of the entries in Wikipedia for World War I reveals parallels between then and now – poison gas, millions of refugees, hateful propaganda. Today’s scene features different conflicts, from Ukraine and Russia to Afghanistan, Syria, and wars on the African continent.

The elements of war – dissimulation, irresolution, lawlessness, revenge, hatred – would keep these wars going. False perceptions about armies, leaders, and the wishes of the people are equally dangerous. They would blind nations to real possibilities for peace and restoration.

There is One, however, who is not blind. Psalms 46 says: “He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;... Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Prayer that exalts God, who is divine Love, Truth, Principle, uncovers hatred’s secret ways, and defangs dissimulation. Divine Principle, by its very nature, restores order and stability. Under divine law, the effects of God’s love for His children – all of them – are seen.

Prayer to see these and other Godlike qualities as the reality in any situation is doing good for ourselves, our communities, and the nations. It refuses to allow mortality to boast that evil is more real and powerful than good.

Divine Love empowers each of us to stand up to evil, no matter how arrogantly it may talk. Everyone, regardless of nationality, has a God-given purpose, and that purpose is not to make war. We are needed instead to do good and to bless one another.

Christ Jesus understood that there are no throwaway beings in God’s creation. He healed many people from the poorest to the richest. He was clear in knowing that the love of God could not dry up, go out of balance, or diminish the value of each one. All have the capacity for goodness. Our prayers can recognize this and insist that the power of divine law leads to peaceful and progressive outcomes.

The truths of Christian Science reveal the pure and good nature of God, and the fact that we are His creation. Its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, lived through and observed the Civil War and the Russo-Japanese War. So when she wrote about war, she spoke from the standpoint of knowledge, and, most important, from spiritual understanding of Jesus’ teachings.

She said: “On this basis the brotherhood of all peoples is established; namely, one God, one Mind, and ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ the basis on which and by which the infinite God, good, the Father-Mother Love, is ours and we are His in divine Science” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 281).

All of us have the capacity to love our neighbors enough to establish brotherhood among the nations and to rid the world of hatred. Jesus told his followers, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

We can prove the power of Jesus’ teachings to lift us and others out of tribulation. Each time we love each other, extend that love to our global neighbors, and trust God as Jesus taught, we move the world closer to peace.

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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.”

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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.

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