BEFORE a skyscraper goes up, the heavily reinforced foundation is constructed. Care in this foundation work is crucial, since without a sound basis the skyscraper would be vulnerable to shifting and even collapse. Foundation-building is important in people's lives, too. If we want to be truly secure, what we think and do needs to have a firm basis on moral and spiritual bedrock.
One of Christ Jesus' parables in the book of Matthew deals with this need for a right foundation. He tells of a wise man who built his house upon a rock. When the rain, floods, and winds beat furiously upon the house, it stood. Then Jesus provides a contrast. A foolish man built his house on sand. When the storms came, that house fell. Later Jesus asks his disciples who men think he is. Peter answers, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus responds, "Upon this rock I will build my church;
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, searched beyond general, orthodox assumptions about what Jesus meant when he talked about the foundation of his church. Her spiritual discovery is recorded in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She writes, ". . . Jesus purposed founding his society, not on the personal Peter as a mortal, but on the God-power which lay behind Peter's confession of the true Messiah.
"It was now evident to Peter that divine Life, Truth, and Love, and not a human personality, was the healer of the sick and a rock, a firm foundation in the realm of harmony. On this spiritually scientific basis Jesus explained his cures, which appeared miraculous to outsiders. . . . The supremacy of Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built.
The Science of Christianity helps us to understand the Christ, or true idea of God which Jesus expressed, and how Jesus demonstrated that there simply is no power to oppose God, Spirit. The result is that we begin to find who we are as God's spiritual likeness and we are immediately happier and stronger. The more we base our actions on the foundational truth of Spirit's supremacy, the more powerful and consistent good is to us, and Christian healing becomes a normal experience.
Spirit's law of goodness is what is really operating in God's universe. This law is the basis of all true being, the only basis we can successfully operate from or build our lives upon. What Spirit creates is real and unshakable. No physical or mental storm can separate us from the foundational truth of God's allness.
Jesus didn't promise that if we built on the rock, there wouldn't be any storms! But he promised that we would be safe and that what was God-given couldn't be lost. God's love, protection, and peace sustain us, and not a single effort expressive of spiritual fidelity, patience, honesty, or purity can ever be torn down or swept away. This good survives (regardless of temporary appearances) and in fact often becomes even more obvious during a severe challenge.
In her Miscellaneous Writings is a letter Mrs. Eddy wrote to a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, encouraging its members to follow Truth faithfully. She said, "Thus founded upon the rock of Christ, when storm and tempest beat against this sure foundation, you, safely sheltered in the strong tower of hope, faith, and Love, are God's nestlings; and He will hide you in His feathers till the storm has passed. She definitely spoke from experience, and her words are still comforting and encouraging today.
This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the February 17 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.