"From the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it." (Matthew 11:12) So said Christ Jesus whose own experience proved that senseless violence cannot stop the advancing of the kingdom of heaven, the perpetual revelation and extension of God's goodness and love on earth.
Twentieth century Christian, Mary Baker Eddy, once gave her response to the aggressive, destructive mentality, the evil or error that seeks to betray innocence and massacre life. She wrote, "I will love, if another hates. I will gain a balance on the side of good, my true being. This alone gives me the forces of God wherewith to overcome all error." (Miscellaneous Writings, 104)
As we wrap the wide, strong arms of prayer around the victims in Charleston - and of massacres, suicide bombings and violent conflicts occurring worldwide - we should remember two things:
Don't miss a single opportunity to love, no matter how small. Each individual expression - in thought and act - of love brings the forces of God's love into focus and reveals more of the kingdom of heaven on earth. Love erases the effects of hate and comforts those that mourn until they have nothing to mourn.
Every link in this post takes you to an idea to lift you from reaction, grief and anger, freeing you to engage in healing prayer. Your prayers are so effective. Your love is so needed.
Want more? Go to "Local Christian Science community responds to grief and acts of hate."
CNN International reports of the shootings in the Charleston Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church:"From what we can gather, it was all about race."
From The Christian Science Monitor: "The Rev. Jeremy Rutledge, pastor for the Circular Congregational Church a few blocks from Emanuel, flew back for the vigil... What he found back home in Charleston Thursday was more than despair. Amid the grief, there was also a recurring question, he says. 'I can’t tell you how many people were saying, "Where do we go from here? What do we do?”'"
Isaiah 65 comforts us with a prophet's wisdom, "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."
First Church of Christ, Scientist in Charleston has been praying on an ongoing basis for the people of Charleston, seeking a healing response to the problems of hatred, racial violence and grief in their community. Watch and share the lecture (in four parts) they recently sponsored to treat and heal the mental darkness and wrenching effects of unbridled hate.
Are you looking for a calm solution to an overwhelming problem? Mark’s gospel tells us of a big storm that once stirred up while Jesus and his disciples were crossing a sea in a boat. The disciples, shaken by the storm, feared for their lives. Jesus on the other hand had a completely different experience. He slept comfortably, unruffled.
What did Jesus know that his disciples missed?
Christian Science expounder, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote, “Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 313)
Explaining the Christ Science that Jesus understood and practiced, she wrote, “The physical universe expresses the conscious and unconscious thought of mortals. Physical force and mortal mind are one.” “The myriad forms of mortal thought, made manifest as matter, are not more distinct nor real to the material senses than are the Soul-created forms to spiritual sense, which cognizes Life as permanent.” (ibid. 484 and 306)
So Mark tells us that Jesus, awakened by the disciples’ great fear, said to their storm, “Peace, Be still.” What did he know? Plunging beneath the material surface of the storm, he found the spiritual cause of all things real - that Soul, or Life, is God. Peace is the real consequence of Soul, the real force of Life.
From the disciples' point of view, the storm stopped. To Jesus, it never was.
When we become conscious, even momentarily, of the phenomena of Soul, the Life that is God, who only produces peace, storms cease for us, whatever their form.
A colleague in South Africa passed this video on to me, asking, Could this illustrate the difficulties in shifting mental gears when one has been conditioned to view all things materially? Watch the video to the end and come back and tell us what you think.
Questions to consider:
1. What is the difference between knowledge and understanding?
2. Can understanding trump knowledge and override it?
3. What does it take to change rigid ways of thinking when presented with a different set of facts?
4. The narrator concludes at the end, "I learned that truth is truth, no matter what you think about it." What is your bias? How does that bias influence what you perceive to be truth and how you experience it?
5. How do you drop your bias and experience truth as truth?
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no