Celebrating the International Day of the Bible

A Christian Science perspective: The Bible’s healing message goes far beyond denominational loyalties, bringing transformation and healing to sincere seekers of all stripes.

Sunday, Nov. 12, is this year’s International Day of the Bible, and people from every country are invited to pause at noon their local time to express, in their own unique way, their love of the Bible.

But this doesn’t need to be limited to those already familiar with the Bible. It’s an invitation to all, even those who may feel that the Bible is irrelevant or even detrimental to their lives, to discover its deepest healing ideas, which are life-changing, colorblind, gender-indifferent, and age-oblivious. Sincere seeking can bring insights and clarity that go to the heart of salvation itself – finding a path to freedom from all kinds of impositions, whether in finances, relationships, health, or any other area where we feel stuck or afraid.

One of the things I love about the Bible is that it is practical in a profoundly simple way. It helps us understand that we are the spiritual image of God, good, the divine Spirit, and shows us how to get along with each other (for instance – “Do to others as you would have them do to you” [Luke 6:31, New Revised Standard Version]). The Hebrew Scriptures (also commonly known as the Old Testament) and the New Testament alike tell of men and women from every walk of life who discovered they have a direct relation to their spiritual creator, and show how understanding something of that can turn us from despair to hope and from brokenness to wholeness. Jesus Christ’s healing ministry showed that God isn’t far-off, but is ever-present divine Love, healing the sick and stilling life’s storms.

Perhaps the most remarkable point about the Bible is that it points to spiritual laws – laws that are universal, reliable, always available. The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, ascertained these spiritual laws and named them Christian, or divine, Science. As a science, these laws can be put into practice and proved by anyone, with healing results.

I experienced this one time when I developed a frightening physical condition during a tough time at work. Colleagues had been let go over differences with management, and feelings of anger, resentment, and even despair took over my thought. How could people I had respected make what seemed to me to be terrible management decisions?

Simultaneously, an infection developed that escalated to symptoms of blood poisoning, resulting in partial paralysis of my body. While this was frightening, I also knew problems even more difficult than this had been overcome in biblical times, as related in the scriptural record. I thought about how, in many of those accounts, the first step in healing was the removal of fear through feeling the peace of God’s loving presence.

I decided to pray about this, and what came to thought was a Bible passage I was very familiar with. I read it again, astonished at how specifically it spoke to my situation. Speaking of how we are all children of God and can progress toward expressing more of the love and trust in God that Christ Jesus did, it reads, “And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure” (I John 3:3, NRSV).

In a flash, I realized I had lost my hope, wrongly placed in an organization instead of God, divine Love. What needed purifying was my thought, to better see that everyone’s true nature as God’s creation is loving, peaceful, and whole. I prayed to not just feel God’s loving presence, but to feel a spiritual love for each decisionmaker at work. As I did, not only did the feelings of despair and resentment lift, but it was an awe-inspiring moment when the infection began to drain and complete movement was restored.

The Bible’s healing message goes far beyond denominational loyalties. If you’ll let it speak to you, it’s about a liberating transformation – your transformation and the world’s.

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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.