For the past several months I have been seeking ways to effectively pray for my neighborhood, my country, and the entire global community. I find my quest easier when I gratefully acknowledge that I am not alone in this endeavor. Many are sincerely seeking answers that promise peace, harmony, and prosperity to all peoples of our world.
Armed with this shared purpose, I’ve pondered whether there is a way to respond with healing to reports insisting that worldwide governmental problems are the norm. Is there an answer for those who feel the governance of their community or nation is leading to conflict rather than peace, distrust rather than unity, hostility rather than compassion?
As a student of the Bible-based teachings of Christian Science, my starting point was to turn my attention to God. Answers I could pray with began coming when I searched “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science. She writes, “Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy” (p. 477).
God is infinite; therefore, His kingdom is infinite, governed by Him alone, divine Principle. In reality there is only one realm – in which man, God’s reflection, is pure and harmonious, free to exercise divinely authorized freedom and dominion.
Sometimes overwhelming negative commentary can seem to overshadow the superiority of God’s reign of harmony and tempt us to react with discouragement, fear, and criticism. These reactions are not unlike what King Hezekiah and the children of Israel might have felt long ago. The Assyrians were coming to destroy them. Even though he was tempted to fear these aggressive threats, King Hezekiah’s love for and trust in God impelled him to turn to God, divine Love, for help.
The prophet Isaiah immediately assured Hezekiah: “Thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it.... For I will defend this city, to save it” (II Kings 19:32, 34). The attacking army was resoundingly defeated.
The lessons of this story teach that the enemy of God, good, has no authority, but rather is vulnerable to destruction. God, infinite good, did not create evil. God, the only power, defends His people. If we’re faced with evidence that questions the presence of the harmony of His government, we need only turn to God to witness His ever-present love and sure defense of His beloved spiritual creation, man and the universe.
The Apostle Paul firmly establishes that nothing can separate us from the power of divine Love (see Romans 8:38, 39). Like Christ Jesus, he understood that because he could not be apart from God’s love, he could safely communicate the good news of the Christ message – the message that God’s infinite reign is ever present, bringing freedom from oppression, persecution, tyranny, sin, disease. And understanding his inseparability from divine Love, Paul was free to love everyone, even those who opposed him and the Christ, Truth.
Universal spiritual love – seeing everyone as God created them – is our model for following Christ Jesus, for realizing God’s kingdom of harmony as a present fact, and for bringing peace and healing to the world.
But can we really love everyone? All the time? Even when a nation or some of its citizens appear to be expressing qualities that oppose their Godlike nature? Yes, especially then!
When we understand our spiritual nature as God’s reflection, we can see the truth of our identity and love ourselves. Then we’ll naturally behold our fellow man’s spiritual identity and love our neighbors. Viewing everyone through the lens of divine Love, we witness ourselves and our neighbors as citizens of the kingdom of God, pure and harmonious, expressing integrity, a desire for peace, love for God and man.
Clad in the armor of spiritual understanding, we can stand firm in the truth that we and all mankind are embraced in the infinite reality of God’s universal kingdom of heaven, His harmony, right now.
Adapted from an article published in the Oct. 23, 2017, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.