Welcome the world’s questioning
With the same confidence that Jesus had in God as the one and only power, we can be courageous as we follow God’s loving guidance today.
Jesus knew what was coming. He hinted at it early on when he said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19 ). He was speaking of his body and implying that following his crucifixion, he would spend three days in a tomb praying.
If Jesus was aware of his impending encounter with the cross, why did he return to Jerusalem? Wouldn’t it have been much smarter to avoid the place where, just a few days after his arrival, he would be crucified?
Jesus wasn’t being blindly brave or foolhardy; he was yielding judiciously to God’s will. Although going forward with what the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, describes as “bleeding footprints” (see Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 41 ), he was in fact profoundly aware that he was being guided intelligently and lovingly. His service to God had to overshadow any personal feelings he might have had about what he should do and when.
The night before he was taken, the weight of the coming crucifixion was heavy. He prayed, asking if God could stop it all. It could be that Jesus was anxious about the future regarding his teachings—the future of what was to become Christianity.
Then, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done,” he prayed decisively (Luke 22:42 ). Jesus’ consent to God’s will that night, along with all that followed, is why we have the Science of Christianity today.
Mrs. Eddy humbly learned from and followed Jesus’ example, enabling her to succeed in founding Christian Science. Yet, from the start, friends and family members actively discouraged her from telling the world about what she’d discovered. Her life had been saved through God’s power. Should she have just kept her discovery to herself, thus protecting herself from the world’s future rancor?
She instead chose to follow God’s leadings and go public. She wrote Science and Health, the textbook of Christian Science, later stating, “I was a scribe under orders; . . .” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 311 ). She knew that by following God’s guidance and direction, irrespective of any person’s opinion, she would lead the way in bringing out clearly and systematically to the world the great truths that Jesus lived and expounded.
By following God’s will, Jesus showed that the Science of Christianity isn’t a delicate flower that must be kept away from the world’s slander and vandalism. In fact, it was Jesus’ public, gallant victory over conflict, the cross, and the grave that opened the way for a worldwide embrace of Christian healing, proving not only that death is not final but also that God’s power is actually without opposition.
Science and Health explains this about Jesus: “His students saw this power of Truth heal the sick, cast out evil, raise the dead; but the ultimate of this wonderful work was not spiritually discerned, even by them, until after the crucifixion, when their immaculate Teacher stood before them, the victor over sickness, sin, disease, death, and the grave” (p. 137 ).
Today, when considering paths to take and decisions to make about ways to present the Science of Christianity to the world, Christians continue to have opportunities to pray, “Not my will, but thine, be done.” While it may seem prudent to hide the law and power of God away from the world’s frequent disapproval, we must let go of our own opinions and fearlessly give consent to God’s loving direction.
Several decades back, I remember a flood of media reports presenting Christian Science as evil and destructive rather than a healing force for good. During this time, a couple contacted me in my capacity as a Christian Science practitioner, asking if I would consider praying for their high-school-age daughter. They told me that even though they had been hearing all these disparaging things about Christian Science and didn’t know a thing about it, they wanted me to help them. They said that their daughter had leukemia, and her doctor had sent her home, explaining that she had only a few more weeks to live. I agreed to pray for her.
Four days later, the girl’s parents took her back to the hospital, and later shared with me that after repeated testing, the doctors said she was now entirely well. The parents were full of joy that Christian Science had healed their daughter. When they gave me the news, I wondered at how those derogatory news stories about Christian Science had actually helped the family learn of the power of God to heal.
When Jesus emerged in triumph from his three days in the tomb, it was clear that he comprehended even more solidly that God is forever the one and only power. With the same confidence in this truth, we can be courageous as we follow God’s loving will and guidance today.
Under the leadership of God’s will and wisdom, the light of God, divine Truth, can fearlessly be set before the world. We can welcome the world’s inquiries. Say, for example, someone writes a scathing comment on a church’s website. This can be the beginning of a conversation that ultimately results in grace and healing. As Mrs. Eddy has so clearly and confidently expressed it: “Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you. The cement of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity” (Science and Health, p. 571 ).