"Our Father"

Every student of Christian Science in his daily study of the Bible, with the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, experiences his mountain tops of exalted spiritual discernment, when familiar lines from the Bible stand forth in the bright light of divine revelation. One such illuminated experience, which has given the writer cause for deep gratitude, came through the instant turning to divine Love for guidance when there was cause, to mortal thinking, for resentment. With a great sense of confusion and injury she began repeating over and over again, "Our Father which art in heaven," seemingly unable to go on with the prayer. But with the repetition of the words, there was received such a revelation of the meaning of "Our Father," that thoughts came without effort. "Our Father"! Why, that means everybody's Father! Ours,—my brother-man's and mine! My brother-man can do me no injury, because he is as much a perfect idea of God as I am, and as much beloved of our Father. All feeling of anger or resentment melted away before the spiritual discernment of God's one and complete creation. With the healing also came an inpouring of love for God and man that has remained through many days when inspiration has been less clear.

The Sermon on the Mount (which contains the Lord's Prayer) was then read, and verses twenty-three and twenty-four of the fifth chapter of Matthew especially claimed the attention of awakened thought: "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." It was recognized that the opening words of the prayer which Christ Jesus taught are an acknowledgment of the one creation, in which all stand in the same relationship to the Father. In the words "Our Father" a perfect brotherhood is expressed. If the lips say that the heavenly Father is thine, while the heart holds an imperfect picture of thy brother, then thy brother truly "hath ought against thee." The gift of pure desire that we would offer to our Father must be laid at the altar, the meeting place between God and man, while we humbly recognize the perfection and oneness of God's creation. When we have ceased to bear false witness against our brother in our thought, we are reconciled to the spiritual creation. Not only have we known the truth of our own relationship to God, but we have understood this relationship for all men. Then, and then only, are we ready to offer the gift of prayer to "Our Father."

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