A Christian Science perspective: Prayers for unity amid dissension.

It’s an indisputable fact that we live in a world of sharply divided opinion. Many sincere thinkers are devoting time and energy to finding answers.

A recent issue that has been discussed is that in a frantically busy world where we’ve lost touch with our neighbors both local and global, we conclude the only valid position is the one we presently hold. So why doesn’t everyone get it?

In seeking answers to division, a first resort could be to look at how Jesus handled problems given his unparalleled success in solving them. He healed all manner of conditions, both mental and physical, and in many of these cases the person seeking healing was of a race or religion despised or scorned by his own. Jesus gave no weight to these things. He simply stated and proved what he knew of the power of God to heal. In no case did he say a person or nation should give up their glorious diversity in terms of cuisine; of language; of beauty, music, or art; or their struggle for more humane laws.

In a word, he said two requirements sum up our role in healing a hurting world: First, we are to love God, heart and soul and mind. Second, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves (see Mark 12:29-31). And he proved that obedience to these two edicts would have immeasurable effect in terms of healing for all who would follow them.

The Monitor’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, discovered spiritual and demonstrable laws behind the understanding of what God is and the practice of pure love that comes from this understanding.

Expounding on the far-reaching effect of her favorite Bible text, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3), she wrote: “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, – whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 340).

Starting from the premise that there is one God, one intelligent creator, or Mind, can help anyone see that we all are able to express the wisdom of the all-knowing Mind. I take great comfort in being able to pray daily: “Thank you Father, you are my real Mind and the Mind of every person on earth and every person I meet, or read about, or hear about this day. You are easily able to provide each of us with the thoughts we need to love You as Mind and Love and to love our neighbor as ourselves.”

Fervently praying to obey the two all-embracing commandments that Jesus preached and lived by opens thought to a happy recognition of the equal worth of each of God’s children – my local and global neighbors – and leads to a very natural acceptance of unity in diversity.

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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.

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