Adoring God—why it matters
If we wish to demonstrate God’s power and love, we must adore as well as understand our Father-Mother.
Christians often yearn to emulate the life and healing works of Christ Jesus. I know I do. This is primarily because we love God, our Father-Mother, and desire to serve Him by helping and healing those around us, as our Master did. As we strive to be present-day disciples, we endeavor to understand God and to demonstrate God’s healing presence and power, His reliable protection and care. Study of the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy provides us with everything we need to do this. However, sometimes our best efforts do not avail the healing results we hope to see for ourselves or others. When this happens, we may feel disappointed, discouraged, or even cheated.
Recently, I have come to see that perhaps there is a missing piece in our work of emulating Christ Jesus—one that the Discoverer of Christian Science specifically identifies. Mrs. Eddy writes that “God is to be understood, adored, and demonstrated; . . .” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 472).
Here we see that along with understanding and demonstration comes adoring. It is clear that if we wish to demonstrate God’s power and love, we must adore as well as understand our Father-Mother.
The Bible affirms the essence of this, and the writings of Mrs. Eddy confirm it. For example, the textbook spiritually interprets “Hallowed be thy name” in the Lord’s Prayer as “Adorable One” (p. 16). The second tenet of Christian Science begins, “We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God” (Science and Health, p. 497). And Mrs. Eddy points out, “He is near to them who adore Him” (Unity of Good, p. 4).
What does it mean to adore God? Some synonyms for adore given by lexico.com are “love dearly,” “be devoted to,” “praise,” “glorify,” “look up to,” and “stand in awe of.” We can dearly love our God while taking a walk, doing the dishes, or spending time with our children. Adoring God always begins with loving God—loving God as Spirit and not getting caught up in corporeality and its distractions. Adoring God is rejoicing in all the good that divine Love is constantly imparting to us and all of God’s children. It shifts our focus off of ourselves and on to divine Spirit, thus purifying our motives and enlarging our capacity to do good. When we feel this adoration, we feel divine Love in our hearts and realize God’s loving presence.
So, what might adoring God look like? Mrs. Eddy deeply pondered this. She writes: “It has long been a question of earnest import, How shall mankind worship the most adorable, but most unadored,—and where shall begin that praise that shall never end? Beneath, above, beyond, methinks I hear the soft, sweet sigh of angels answering, ‘So live, that your lives attest your sincerity and resound His praise’ ” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 106).
The master Christian certainly adored his heavenly Father-Mother by living a life of sincerity and praise. Jesus often thanked God in the face of what appeared to be a dire problem, even before a solution was evident. For example, he thanked his heavenly Father even when it appeared that seven loaves of bread and a few fish wouldn’t be nearly enough to feed thousands of hungry men, women, and children (see Matthew 15:32–38). As Jesus stood there holding those loaves, perhaps he thanked God for His loving nature and dependable care. Or for the confidence that no matter what was facing him or anyone, God’s provision was at hand. We do know that after Jesus expressed his gratitude to God, the food was distributed and everyone was fed—with plenty of leftovers. Adoration had led to demonstration.
Science and Health states, “We shall obey and adore in proportion as we apprehend the divine nature and love Him understandingly, warring no more over the corporeality, but rejoicing in the affluence of our God” (p. 140).
In Luke 7:36–50 we read about a woman with a questionable background and reputation who found healing through an act of sincerity and praise—an act of the heart. She made her way into the home of a religious leader who had invited Jesus to dinner. The woman approached the place where Jesus was reclining to dine and, weeping, washed his feet with her tears; she then wiped his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with a costly oil she had brought with her. It was a display of deep love and humility.
Christ Jesus responded to this spiritual adoration by using the occasion to teach by parable the value and power of Christly love, concluding with regard to this woman, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much.” Mrs. Eddy comments: “Did Jesus spurn the woman? Did he repel her adoration? No! He regarded her compassionately” (Science and Health, p. 363). The Master ended his remarks by telling the woman that her sins were forgiven. This humble woman’s adoration had brought her redemption.
At one time our family needed to find a new home in a distant state. My prayer started by affirming what I understood to be true about God and home—that home is the divinely mental place where we find harmony, peace, safety, and love. I silently acknowledged that home was not a bricks-and-mortar structure but the consciousness of God’s, divine Love’s, presence and provision, always in place.
Next, in adoration, I actively thanked God for constant love, care, and provision. I praised God for all the good I had seen in my life and expressed my trust and confidence that this pattern of unending good would continue and be evident in the current situation. As I went on praying with understanding and heartfelt adoration, the exact right place became obvious. And it proved to be a blessing for our whole family.
We don’t need to be facing an immediate problem to practice adoring God. Every day, continually, we can stand in awe of Him, love and glorify Him, and praise Him with our lives.