The idea that there is always something better out there or in the future can leave us unsatisfied with our present life. Looking around, it can seem that life is unfair, and that there is reason to resent the good that others have.
But what if we all, right now, had everything we needed? What if we all were created with a sense of harmony and self-worth that was built into the very fiber of our being? What if that sense of completeness could not be interrupted or overlooked? There would be no occasion for resentment or dissatisfaction, and we would wake each morning feeling content and completely at peace.
In fact, this sense of heaven is something that we all can experience today, and we are taught how to do this by Christ Jesus. Jesus understood himself to be God’s beloved Son in whom God was well pleased (see Matthew 3:17) – and he knew that God’s goodness and harmony were innately expressed in him. But in addition to understanding his own identity, he realized that every man, woman and child has that same harmony and goodness as children of God. He saw this so clearly that those who came to him discouraged, dissatisfied, ill, or embattled in sin were instantly healed by his understanding of their true nature. This innate God-endowed goodness and worth that is manifested in each of us, Jesus called “the kingdom of heaven,” or the “kingdom of God.”
Understanding the importance of this concept for his students and for the world, Jesus went to great lengths to explain that the kingdom of heaven is here right now and that all mankind could experience it. Through parables, using ordinary language and examples that they could relate to, Jesus explained that the kingdom of heaven – harmony, goodness, and peace – is in us all and that it is something to acknowledge, treasure, and cultivate in our daily lives.
The skeptical Pharisees, not understanding the lessons of Jesus, asked him when the kingdom of God should come. Jesus explained, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). He left no doubt that the kingdom of God or heaven is not a future reward or a far-off destination, but is the harmony that abides in us here and now as we cherish and express God’s goodness.
The founder of this newspaper and of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, knew the importance of Jesus’ lessons on the kingdom of heaven and what heaven could mean to mankind. In fact, she wrote a prayer to explain that the kingdom of heaven, or harmony, forever dwells in us, governs us, and blesses the lives of all mankind: “‘Thy kingdom come;’ let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!” (“Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston,” p. 41).
What a gift it is to be reminded that today we are already complete, worthy, and blessed and that this innate goodness and worth cannot be overthrown. Our innate goodness as God’s sons and daughters is here for us to accept and live.