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Comfort in times of tragedy

The evening newscast--in living color--puts tragedy in our laps as never before. Suddenly, shockingly, we see images of death from terrorist strikes, from natural disasters, from accidents--on the ground, on the water, in the air. How can we find comfort? And offer comfort to an often-mourning world?

There's a healing balm in the lifework of Christ Jesus. Born of a virgin, the master Christian understood God as the source of life. He knew Deity to be his creator, his heavenly Father. So Jesus could reveal to us the true nature of existence. He could demonstrate the eternality of that life which emanates from God, divine Life.

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Jesus was brutally executed on a cross. Yet his understanding of immortal Life couldn't be extinguished. After three days in a dark tomb, he emerged alive, demonstrating dramatically that God maintains man's identity always. Through consecrated prayer he proved that life is more than meets the eye, more than frail, material existence. Man's Life, the Master proved, is God.

The Apostle Paul vigorously preached the resurrection gospel. To the Corinthians he wrote: ``Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. . . . For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.'' 1

The teachings of Christian Science help us understand how Jesus overcame death. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of this Science, writes, ``His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense.'' 2

Jesus' glorious victory reveals some profound truths about the nature of man as the offspring of divine Life. We see that flesh and blood are not the determinants of man's being. Rather, man is upheld and maintained by the power of God, divine Spirit.

Christian Science teaches that our actual nature is entirely spiritual, because our creator is Spirit, as the Bible tells us.3 What appears as flesh and blood is a shadow--not the real identity of man. Physicality is temporal, fleeting. It poor- ly counterfeits the man God created, the spiritual man who reflects divine Life.

Of course, to the physical senses the material body seems quite substantial. But through inspired prayer we come to know more of the allness of divine Spirit. And we begin to see man not as flesh and blood but as the very image of God. Our spiritual sense reveals man's true substance in such God-derived quali- ties as purity, honesty, intelligence, and affection.

As we discern man's incorporeal identity, we more readily accept the idea of eternal life. We understand, as Jesus did, that God is the only Life of man.

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Mrs. Eddy tells us: ``As soldiers of the cross we must be brave, and let Science declare the immortal status of man, and deny the evidence of the material senses, which testify that man dies.'' 4

This spiritual truth is our comfort and our world's comfort in a time of tragedy. The understanding of man's existence in God dispels clouds of grief. Jesus' victory over death assures us that each child of God is destined for eternity. Nothing can destroy the individual life that God Himself created.

1 I Corinthians 15:20, 22. 2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 44. 3 See John 4:24. 4 Unity of Good, p. 39. DAILY BIBLE VERSE We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, et ernal in the heavens.

II Corinthians 5:1

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