Having faith in life
A Christian Science perspective: Why there is reason for hope.
When life appears to offer no hope of anything worthwhile, that is indeed tragic. But even more unfortunate is how many people there are today who reach that conclusion and want “out” of life, either for emotional, health, or other reasons.
If life began with a big bang, then it might be easy to decide that life, no matter how complex its development since then, is essentially an accident with little or no purpose. Or if life, however one believes it started, is dependent on matter and subject to the tyranny of disease, sorrow, and deprivation, that, too, might at times call into question what life has to offer and the meaning of living.
But can we really escape existing? And does not our life have genuine meaning – and a divinely good, loving purpose, the understanding of which can conquer senseless suffering?
The answer that Christian Science offers is that we cannot in fact stop existing, because our eternal Father-Mother God has given us our life, given us our eternal individuality. And this individuality is not the product and pawn of matter but the very expression of God, who is good. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes: “The sweet, sacred sense and permanence of man’s unity with his Maker, in Science, illumines our present existence with the ever-presence and power of God, good. It opens wide the portals of salvation from sin, sickness, and death” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 196).
Christ Jesus gave us this hopeful promise: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The Messiah, the Savior, came because of God’s great love for humanity. He came not to visit hopeless suffering on us but to lift us out of that suffering and the causes of it – to show us the reality of life in God. And he came to prove, through his countless healings, that this Life we are embraced in and forever express can be proved here and now through healing, through finding freedom from sorrow and disease.
God, our loving Father-Mother, is Life itself – Life that is Spirit rather than matter; Life that is Love rather than evil, hate, and sorrow. Being the image and likeness of God, which the book of Genesis emphatically affirms we are (see Genesis 1:26, 27), each of us is the expression of Life. We manifest the harmony of Spirit, the goodness and unselfishness of Love, and the unfolding, perpetual purpose of Life itself.
The implication of this for each of us is that we can awake to the life we already have, and always will have. Through prayer we can begin to lay aside our material sense of life and understand our spiritual, true identity that is one with God. This means we are one with Life and its goodness, Life and its joy, Life and its harmony.
St. Paul said, “[T]he life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Here and now, we all have the promise of realizing what our true life is. And we have the ability to live this life by putting into practice our faith in the Son of God, our faith in the true idea of Life that Jesus represented. Through God’s loving presence and power working in us to transform us, we are able to have more faith in Spirit’s ability to maintain our harmony. We are able to have more faith in the purpose of our life, which is to express God. And we are able to actually live this divinely supported life, which includes love for others, joy in being useful, and the joy of health.
No lesser purpose or state of existence could be ours as the loved child of our dear Father-Mother – as the very expression of God, our one and only Life.