‘Thy kingdom come’
A Christian Science perspective: Glimpsing the ever-presence of God’s kingdom brings healing.
“Thy kingdom come.” Many of us are apt to recognize those three words as part of a prayer Christ Jesus gave his followers, which has since become known as the Lord’s Prayer (see Matthew 6:9-13). This simple statement, grasped more deeply in its spiritual import, has immense practical value for the health and healing of humanity. The textbook of Christian Science gives its spiritual interpretation: “Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 16).
This great prayer teaches an underlying correlation between God’s absolute spiritual sovereignty, law, and government (in other words, His “kingdom”) and His abiding presence. A central theme throughout the Bible, in fact, is not only that God’s benevolent wisdom is universal and supreme, but that He is not separate from that wisdom; God, who is divine Love, is ever present, every hour and every minute.
Christ Jesus spoke frequently about God’s kingdom in ways that brought fresh light to an ancient subject. He characterized this kingdom in spiritual terms, rather than physical, geographic, or time-oriented ones. “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you,” Jesus once explained (Luke 17:20, 21).
This helps me see that right here and now we can begin to acknowledge and feel that God loves us infinitely and protects and guides us – and gives us the strength to do whatever we are rightly called upon to do. Jesus also stated that “the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). So in our lives, even if a discordant or painful situation appears to be “at hand,” having faith in and understanding something of God’s infinite, all-good government, which is always present to bless, can bring healing.
One time I went on a wilderness backpacking trip with my husband in the Colorado Rockies. Less than halfway to our mountaintop campsite, I found myself crippled with exhaustion and other symptoms commonly associated with high altitude. I was scared, feeling quite “far” from the kingdom of God. However, I began to pray. One thing that had become clear through my study of Christian Science was that to the material view of things, based on the five physical senses, God’s kingdom is not readily apparent. But to man’s God-given spiritual sense – our inherent ability to discern Christ, the divine Truth Jesus expressed in his life and healings – God’s kingdom of peace and harmony is seen to be ever present.
After about 15 minutes of prayer acknowledging that God cares for us, His spiritual creation, and that His “kingdom is come,” I felt the fear give way to a deep assurance of God’s presence. I felt a clearer sense of my connection to God as His reflection (see Genesis 1:26, 27). And as the fear lessened, so did the distressing symptoms; they disappeared completely. I rejoiced at this evidence of God’s healing power and joyously finished the trip with no further problems.
There’s no question that Jesus himself faced many dire circumstances during his ministry. Once he was forced by an angry mob to the top of a hill to be thrown off. “But he passing through the midst of them went his way,” the Bible recounts (see Luke 4:28-30). Another time he was on a boat at sea in the middle of a dangerous storm with waves crashing over the sides. His disciples found him “asleep on a pillow.” He got up and rebuked the storm into stillness, asking his amazed disciples, “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (see Mark 4:37-41).
In both these instances, he demonstrated inner spiritual peace – an assurance of God’s power and presence – right where danger appeared to loom. Through this spiritual understanding, he and those around him were lifted out of danger by the supreme power of God. The presence of God’s kingdom was realized.
We can take to heart in our own experience the fact that we are not alone or helpless. God’s kingdom is “at hand.” Daily acknowledging that we are under His care and praying to understand our abiding relationship to Him as His beloved image or reflection, we become better equipped to face challenges courageously and overcome them – including experiencing healing of physical ills. We can awaken to the power of ever-present Love – “Thy kingdom is come.”