Peacemaking and the daily news

A Christian Science perspective: Affirming the presence and power of God enables us to see God’s law of Love in effect.

A friend called one morning. I could hear the troubled tone of her voice. “I get so upset every time I watch the news,” she said, “that I’ve decided to ignore it.”

I could see where she was coming from. Daily news can be very disturbing. But it also occurred to me that we can do better than simply ignoring the needs of our wider community. Each of us has the privilege of being involved in the well-being of society.

Christ Jesus blessed the whole human race with his teaching and healing work, and those blessings continue today. One part of his teaching that we now call the Beatitudes tells us: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). Peacemaking can begin with each of us.

For me, that starts with prayer that lifts thought above the turmoil and affirms God’s presence and healing power. This establishes a mental quietness that outweighs anxiety and sorrow and makes room in thought for the higher law of God, divine Love, to have its effect. In turn, that makes way for needed adjustments in our lives.

The First Commandment points to God’s law. It urges us to have no other gods than divine Love, which constitutes the nature of God. God’s law is the universal law of pure, spiritual goodness. Recognition of that powerful law begins in individual consciousness, but its harmony and progress ripple outward to touch others with compassion that blesses all humanity.

When we pray with childlike simplicity, affirming the relevance of God’s peacemaking law to human need – and we persist until we actually feel its Christly action lifting our own thought – then we catch a glimpse of what Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy meant when she wrote, “The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 506).

This article was adapted from the June 27, 2017, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.

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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.