Seismic shifts

When we’re honestly willing to get to know God and Christ in new ways, we gain transformative healing views of existence.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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I remember getting a whole new view of arithmetic as a child. My teacher told us about negative numbers and said that there are as many numbers less than zero as there are greater than zero. Initially, that made no sense to me. However, with continued study and application, I eventually realized that this was indeed the case. And with this realization came a seismic shift in my understanding of the extensive world of mathematics.

An even more significant shift in thought happened while I was attending Christian Science Sunday School when I was 18. The class explored a distinction between the names “Christ” and “Jesus.” I was already familiar with Jesus the individual and many of his inspired teachings, and that day I learned more about Christ.

This statement from “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy points to the idea that dawned on me: “...Christ is not a name so much as the divine title of Jesus. Christ expresses God’s spiritual, eternal nature” (p. 333). I glimpsed that the divine nature expressed by the Christ had always been present.

Jesus understood Christ as his eternal divine nature. Christ existed before Jesus was born and after he ascended. That morning in Sunday School, I felt an enlightened sense of the comfort and power of Christ, Truth, with me and available for all humanity.

The implications of Christ expressing God’s spiritual nature eternally were seismic for me. I realized that Christ and all the regenerating power of God were still with me and everyone. I had a new zest for embracing a spiritual view of the world. I felt more confident in my school studies; family relationships began to harmonize; my life opened to bigger possibilities; and a newfound poise steadily replaced a lifestyle of undisciplined youth.

My enriched experience came after contemplating God and Christ in ways I had not previously considered, and this spiritual progress is available to everyone in all areas of life.

What can we do to be more receptive to Christ? Jesus’ answer when asked who was greatest in the kingdom of heaven is profound (see Matthew 18:1-5). He called a little child into the center of the conversation and told his disciples that unless they became as little children, they would “not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” This strong statement may have prompted a great shift of thought for the disciples.

Jesus added: “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.” He knew that qualities of childlikeness were conducive to deep changes in thought and to spiritual growth.

Mrs. Eddy describes Christ as “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (Science and Health, p. 332). This message enlivens, heals, restores, and adjusts. The divine influence is life-affirming and life-changing because Christ expresses the all-loving God, who is Life itself. When this is recognized and embraced in our thought, transformative shifts are inevitable.

We are never too young or too old to experience such God-impelled seismic shifts in thought – changes in perspective that are so necessary for spiritual growth. This includes growth out of a mistaken perception of existence as material rather than spiritual.

The final chapter of Science and Health, “Fruitage,” is filled with letters in which many of the writers relate not only experiencing physical healing but also thinking differently about almost everything after encountering the book’s healing message. As their view of life and the world expanded and was spiritualized, it changed their entire perspective, and healing was natural.

It may not be comfortable to let go of a long-held matter-based perspective immediately, and this may cause us to resist investigating concepts that beckon us into more spiritually liberating experiences. But God reassuringly communicates through Christ in ways we understand, enabling us to boldly go forward to explore the supremacy of Spirit.

We owe it to ourselves not to stay in mental backwaters, which are inevitably limited and limiting. We move forward in childlike humility and youthful hope, and through perseverance and study, a whole new world of divine Truth and its application can open up. Then we become increasingly conscious of God’s presence, giving us a thrilling view of existence, inseparable from infinite Life!

Adapted from an editorial published in the Oct. 3, 2022, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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