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A reason for hope

A Christian Science perspective.

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Polls and pundits don’t offer much hope these days. Unemployment, housing foreclosures, and government deficits in the United States and abroad are embroiling many. Distrust of government is not uncommon. Fear and confusion overshadow public thought at a time when courage and hope are most needed.

The Bible offers many proofs of God’s help at times when all hope seemed lost. Take its account of Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal. If you go by numbers, 450 men praying to their god, Baal, to accept their sacrifice against one man’s prayers to his God, didn’t seem like good odds for Elijah. But Elijah didn’t go by numbers.

The agreement was that each group would prepare a sacrifice, and that the god who answered by fire would be God. Baal’s prophets prepared their offering and called and jumped around it to attract Baal. But nothing happened.

Then Elijah’s moment came. Perhaps to make a point, Elijah poured water – lots of water – on his sacrifice, which was to be burned with fire. Then he prayed, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.” The next sentence says simply and beautifully, “Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench” (I Kings 18:37, 38).

One understanding, trusting, devoted voice outweighed the cries of 450. The fire of the Lord fell and consumed the material limitations, the belief of life and power in matter and material gods. Other examples of how spiritual understanding overcame the impossible abound: Daniel, falsely accused, spent the night in a den of lions, and came through unharmed; three Hebrews who refused to worship any god but the God of Israel were thrown into a ragingly hot furnace, yet emerged unscathed. Jesus – who taught the truth of God’s love for man, and embodied Christ – was crucified and buried in a tomb, yet came forth victorious.

Spiritual thinkers today, especially those who understand the Science of Christ discovered by Mary Baker Eddy, can recognize the power of the one Mind to erase divisions in the world and to conquer hate. Their prayers can support the discovery of solutions to global, local, and personal problems.

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