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The real thing

A FRIEND once told me about watching a small child try to take hold of an apple pictured on the page of a book. Shortly after that I heard of another toddler who attempted to enter a picture book by stepping with both feet into his favorite picture. A child's imagination is wonderful, but, of course, even the best artwork in a book isn't the reality. No matter how attractive an apple may appear in a picture, it is still only a picture. If we want the experience of touching and tasting an actual apple, we must go out and find the real thing. Similarly, the law of God that we find portrayed so beautifully in the Scriptures is a thing of life rather than simply of paper and ink. With colorful stories and vivid imagery, the Bible tells us about a reality that exists outside the book itself.

We may read about God's lovingkindness in Psalms and admire the beauty of the words, but unless we can feel that love in our own hearts through a growing understanding of God, and see it expressed in our lives, we haven't experienced the real thing.

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To read how Christ Jesus healed the sick and lame and blind is inspiring, but until we can trust our own health to God's care through a better sense of Him as the very source and substance of our well-being, we don't actually know the joy of spiritual healing.

We may read Jesus' affirmation of his oneness with the Father as the Son of God. But we don't experience our own oneness with God as His offspring just by reading about it. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``The scientific unity which exists between God and man must be wrought out in life-practice, and God's will must be universally done.''1

It is this living of the Word that identifies a Christian disciple. For God to be as real to us today as He was to the Biblical prophets, His law must be more than words on a page. It must be a power in our lives. But how can this happen?

As a companion to the Bible, the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mrs. Eddy, shows how we today can demonstrate the supremacy of spiritual power over human ills and thus fulfill Jesus' command to his followers to heal sickness and sin. Christian Science practice is based on the truth, found in the Bible, that God is the only power and that He is totally good. It's based on the truth that man, as God's offspring, is not the fleshly, vulnerable mortal he seems to be but is spiritual, perfect, expressing the nature of his creator. Disease and sin, then, are not the fixed facts they appear to be and can therefore be healed through prayer.

Through Christian Science many people who have wished they could step into the gospel pages and touch the hem of Christ's robe are discovering the healing power of Christ here and now within their own lives. Such firsthand encounters with spiritual power make it possible to experience more fully what Christianity is all about. To people everywhere this practical understanding of the Science of Christ offers the blessed privilege of stepping with both feet into the kingdom of heaven right here on earth.

1Science and Health, p. 202. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: If any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:23-25

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