Many people are clearly concerned about government cuts in social programs. In some cases cutbacks appear necessary to halt misuse of programs. On the other hand, there are genuine cases of hardship.
The common denominator in the protests against these reductions is fear. Fear of poverty-how to feed the children, pay the rent. Fear that cutbacks will result in a lowered standard of living. Fear that lack will drive people into crime. What an opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the concept of welfare and to take a giant step out of fear to faith and to a spiritual understanding of God's loving care for His creation!
One meaning of the term ''welfare'' is, a condition of well-being, of happiness. Christian Science, rooted in Bible teach-ings, reveals man's well-being as constant, for he is God's loved spiritual creation, perpetually sustained by God. He is not, in truth, a deprived, lacking mortal, because his creator is omnipotent, immortal Love. We find lasting security as we have faith in, and begin to understand, this spiritual fact. The Discoverer and Found-er of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes: ''One kind of faith trusts one's welfare to others.Another kind of faith understands divine Love and how to work out one's 'own salvation, with fear and trembling.''' 1
The same fear of lack existed in Christ Jesus' time. Roman occupation meant tributes and taxes. Tribute money must be paid on land, and there were poll taxes, property taxes, taxes collected at seaports and at city gates-as well as the annual payment made by all Jews for the support of the temple services. Doubtless many people had a struggle to make ends meet.