Where do we come from?
This question puzzled me deeply as a child. When I asked my grandmother for an answer, she opened her Bible and read from Genesis: "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." n1
n1 Genesis 1:27.
How can I be God's image? I wondered. Does God look like me?Is he a kind of supermortal?
Years later, as I commenced the study of Christian Science, new insights dawned. I started to see that because God is divine Spirit, His image, man, must likewise be spiritual. I saw that man's real nature comprises spiritual qualities. And I also saw that this truth is far more than mere theory. It has immense practical value. It formed the basis of Christ Jesus' healing ministry. And it is this same truth -- man's permanent spiritual perfection as God's likeness -- that enables people to heal through Christ today.
The material senses, however, present a material view of God and man. This false view would defy logical reasoning on the subject of man's origin. Some years ago I was guest at a business luncheon. One of my hosts, broaching the subject of man's origin, admitted that although he doubted the credibility of the theory that man originated from "apes," he could think of no alternative. As I listened quietly to further views on this subject, I recalled these words by Mary Baker Eddy. n2 "Theorizing about man's development from mushrooms to monkeys and from monkeys into men amounts to nothing in the right direction and very much in the wrong." And later she adds: "If the material body is man, he is a portion of matter, or dust. On the contrary, man is the image and likeness of Spirit . . . ." n3
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 172.
As I thought of these words, I found myself saying something like this: "You know, I can't go along with the man-from-apes theory. After all, when you consider the fine qualities inherent in human nature, such as honesty, integrity , compassion, dedication to ideals, and unselfish love, how do you suppose they could have originated in matter?"
To understand something of where we come from (and, for that matter, where we're heading) gives fresh purpose and resolve to our endeavors. For instance, because God is good, we begin to see that goodness and harmony form the very basis of our real, spiritual nature. We see, therefore, that we do not have to suffer or tolerate anything unlike God, such as impairment or lack. We have a right to overcome these errors because they are completely alien to God's immortal creation. And we can do it through prayerful acknowledgment of man's present perfection as God's image.
Jesus did just that. He was so completely aware of the pure spiritually of man as God's perfect child -- that is, so conscious of man's Christly nature -- that he could heal instantaneously. Jesus embodied this nature, the Christ, in full measure. He knew his real origin and destiny were divine Spirit. And his healing works indicated that everyone's real origin and destiny are likewise divine Spirit.
If our problems seem to grow, and frustration or discord sets in, we could well ask ourselves, "Am I judging myself and others materially?" If so, we may be unwittingly denying God as the one creator and source of all harmony and being. The understanding acknowledgment of our spiritual origin, nature, and destiny can release us from the false, material view of man, until we gain our god-endowed freedom. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Psalms 100:3,4