The good news of the Comforter
Though the physical Jesus is no longer here, the eternal Christ he lived and shared is ever present to comfort, heal, and light our path forward.
Too often, the news we encounter – whether in headlines or in our own families and lives – is a mixture of good and bad.
Yet there is good news we can count on every day and that empowers us to meet and overcome challenges. It’s found in the Scriptures, and particularly highlighted in the Gospels. In fact, the word “gospel” comes from a Greek word meaning “good news.”
What better news can we tune into each day than the assurance that God, divine Love, is a loving Father-Mother to us all; is always present; and infinitely loves, sustains, and cares for every one of us?
This good news is as accessible and practical today as it was 2,000 years ago, when Christ Jesus demonstrated God’s power and goodness through his teachings and unequaled healing works. In our moments of uncertainty or fear or grief, this Christ message can bring comfort and healing – evidence of divine law in action.
Jesus referred to this spiritual law as the Comforter that would bring us “into all truth” (John 16:13). This Comforter is neither mysterious nor far off but here at hand and practical, for each of us to find.
Some time ago, during several years of caring full-time for two greatly loved family members, I began to sink into a kind of thinking that was unusual for me. I felt needy, alone, and helpless – perhaps somewhat like the man in a biblical account whom Jesus encountered at the pool of Bethesda (see John 5:2-9). This man, who had been incapacitated for many years, was waiting by the pool, seeking someone to help him into the water, which was said to have healing properties when an angel moved upon it. He did not recognize the Christ and Comforter right there and ready to heal right then.
In my case, the thought “If Jesus were still here, he would help me” came to mind repeatedly, an almost daily yearning. But this thinking was unproductive, especially because I’d learned through my study of Christian Science to think of Christ in more eternal terms than just the historic person of Jesus. I’d learned to think of Christ as divine Truth, speaking to my consciousness.
In his promise of the Comforter, Jesus revealed the eternal presence and availability of the Christ. He assured his followers that they would never be alone or helpless, because the Comforter – expressing God’s tender love – would always be present to supply their needs.
Mary Baker Eddy, a devoted follower of Christ Jesus and the founder of this news organization, illustrates the distinctness and inseparability of Christ and Jesus in this illuminating passage: “Jesus was born of Mary. Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 332).
I realized that instead of longing for the physical presence of Jesus, I could ponder his timeless Christly message and gain spiritual insight. I clung to his tender words, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20) and “I will not leave you comfortless” (John 14:18).
Over a period of months, as I prayed to God, our Father-Mother, my thought became filled with the Christ, Truth. I felt less needy and more hopeful of finding good in each day’s tasks. I felt a sweet assurance that God, our divine Parent, does indeed care for us, His spiritual offspring, impartially and continuously. This strengthened me and empowered my efforts to care for these relatives.
Even though the physical Jesus is not present with us today, his message of comfort and healing is available to us, and always will be. As we turn to this Comforter we become less dependent on other people for our happiness and stability. And those who are in our care are blessed by this as well.
These ideas have helped me through dark times and difficult situations. I still have challenges, but the feelings of helplessness have vanished. The thought “If only Jesus were still here” has been replaced by a glad affirmation, “The Christ is here and gives me comfort, strength, ability, joy.”
The Christ is here, fulfilling Jesus’ promise and revealing a divine purpose for each of us, wherever we are. And so, in the words of a loved hymn, “How can I keep from singing?” (Pauline T., “Christian Science Hymnal: Hymns 430-603,” No. 533, adapt.).