More peace on earth

A Christian Science perspective: How can we pray for peace? 

Is it possible to have more peace on earth?

The idea of peace is not just a comforting balm; it’s not wishful thinking or an impossible ideal. It is actually a very real possibility. But bringing peace cannot involve blame, and it cannot be forced; it isn’t obtained through war or even retaliation. To have lasting peace, we must turn to the source of all heavenly peace – God.

In the Bible a fearful, sorrowful, hurting Job was advised to “acquaint now thyself with him [God], and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee” (Job 22:21). As we come to understand God, good, and man’s unity with God, we are able to see the possibility of peace in our lives.

Christ Jesus faced many of the same peace-disrupting challenges that we face today, such as sin, disease, lack, and even violence. Yet he dealt with each ailment or threat by understanding God and His omnipotent power. Jesus’ successful healing practice started with understanding God as perfect and seeing God’s children as pure and perfect. He said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). His understanding of this divine perfection brought a healing peace to all he encountered, and he showed that we, too, can increasingly gain this understanding and the healing it brings by following him.

Jesus’ ministry was not simply a unique way of thinking or worshipping; it was a way of living that had peace-producing effects. This way of living is something we all can achieve by knowing our relationship to God as His pure and perfect offspring, who were created to express His good, harmonious nature. Understanding others to be God’s pure offspring, and living this truth in how we deal with others, establishes a solid foundation for peace, as Christ Jesus demonstrated.

Inspired by Jesus’ teachings, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, saw that God’s love is what truly governs us. In a By-Law for the members of her Church, she includes a prayer, which can do much to harmonize relationships and societies, and therefore be an influence for peace in the world: “ ‘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 Mother Church,” p. 41).

Promoting peace, then, starts in our consciousness and in how we live our life, as it did with Jesus. His thought was fully imbued with the truth that man is God’s perfect reflection, and he acted on that truth by proving it in countless ways, showing that peace in its manifold forms – health, goodness, uprightness, and so on – is an inherent quality expressed in man. Once we allow the peace of God to rule in ourselves, we begin to bring that sense of peace to others through our actions and through our perception of their real God-given individuality.

Action that springs from an understanding of God, divine Love, manifests itself in peaceful relations. Fear is not a basis for action. But love, spiritual love, is. If our actions are impelled by the understanding of divine Love’s control over all, we are able to defuse conflict with our children, parents, spouse, neighbors, co-workers, or that cold-caller at dinner time. Our healing thoughts and actions have an effect, because as Jesus showed, the recognition of people’s spiritual goodness and God’s ever-present government brings healing to our neighbors. And it can do the same more broadly in our community and beyond.

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