Bringing light to a world of pandemic fears

If it seems we’re being overcome by the world and its problems, it’s worth considering Christ Jesus’ words, “I have overcome the world,” and what they mean for us.

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Is it realistic to think that something Jesus said about 2,000 years ago could play a role in how a world pandemic can be confronted today? He declared, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

I’ve been praying about these five words to see how they could have meaning to a world tormented by fear. Christ Jesus spoke with an amazing authority. As this Easter season commemorates, he was so filled with the light of spiritual understanding, he even overcame the darkness that the world fears most – death itself.

The Bible does provide some further insight into this question of overcoming the world. Here’s a point that certainly has given me pause: “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world” (I John 5:4). Overcoming the world could be taken to mean overcoming darkened states of thought. Like fear.

There’s something profound about the recognition that we come from God. There’s such a firm conviction in the world that everyone comes from biology, from matter instead of Spirit with all its light. But I’ve found that this humble admission of coming from God gives strength to my prayer. This is especially true as I’ve remembered that Jesus called for rebirth (see John 3:1-7). In one sense I’ve felt he was saying to me, “Start fresh, spiritually fresh!”

A rebirth is less a question of time and more a question of renewed thought. Thought can change today. Everyone has a right to undergo a rebirth – being born of God.

Mary Baker Eddy’s book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” echoes the Bible in helping understand the nature of God. “‘God is Love.’ More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go” (p. 6). God’s child is a child of this ultimate light, divine Love. Prayer can be an affirmation that God’s children are an expression of Deity’s being, the manifestation of Love. And the Bible insists, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18, New King James Version).

A heart that is earnestly seeking to be reborn, to represent the light of divine Love, can make a difference in this world, and that rebirth can begin now. So here’s the reasoning or prayer I’ve come up with. Jesus said he overcame the world. He called on us to follow his example. The Bible says that if we understand that we actually come from God, then we can overcome the world. Jesus helped us see that through a transforming of our lives to express God’s love as he did, we are undergoing a rebirth, being born of God, divine Love. This means that a light is beginning to shine in us in a way that overcomes those darkened states of thought.

Truly we originate in the consciousness of Spirit, divine light. As God’s idea or child, we reflect divine light. A developing recognition of this truth and the living of it enable us to bring the light of Love to a world of fear, of darkness. Every one of us can contribute light that confronts a world of pandemic fears with the power to overcome them.

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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.

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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.

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