Over the years I've met people who for one reason or another had come to feel as though they'd been cut off from everything good. Some of these people felt alienated by financial circumstances; some were seriously ill; some were in prison; some had committed sins that they thought were unforgivable. And some merely felt that their lives didn't count for very much—even if they had accomplished a degree of material success in their careers.
All of these people needed reconciliation to God. I know for certain that some found it. They turned to the Science of Christ, and they discovered something deeper than they'd recognized before of God's real nature as illimitable Love, ever-present Spirit, immutable Truth. They were touched by the redeeming action of God's dear Christ, His true idea voicing good. The Christ message gave them new hope. The Christ purified and renewed them, regenerated and healed them—brought them back to God. These people feel freer now than they ever believed possible. They are free to be about their Father's business, to do His will, to glorify Him, to lead joyful, truly productive Christian lives.
There can be little question, though, that many people haven't yet found the release from despair that such Christ-impelled reconciliation brings. But it is available to everyone in need of love and comfort. Anyone who has ever, even momentarily, felt the yearning to be closer to God can appreciate the immense blessings of reconciliation through Christ.
In common usage, reconciliation means the reestablishment of a close relationship. It often refers to the reuniting of friends or family relations. In the deepest spiritual sense, God can be thought of as our closest friend, our divine Parent. And in truth that special relationship never can be broken. The eternal order of divine reality is scientific unity: God and man forever at one as infinite Mind and idea, divine Love and its expression, pure Spirit and its perfect reflection. This is the Christ message.
God never fails to love His child, the immortal spiritual manifestation of His own being. The Father Mind knows nothing less than the purity and goodness of His expression, and He includes all spiritual creation within the infinitude of divine consciousness. It is only the false and deceptive mentality of mortals that ever believes man can be forsaken by his Maker.
Thus it isn't God who needs to be reconciled to His own manifestation. Rather it is the faltering human consciousness, believing in man's vulnerability to separation, that needs the reconciliation—that needs to discern more of the truth of the real man's inseparability from God. And as the Christ, Truth, is welcomed into one's heart through prayer, the ever-present embrace of divine Love is felt in its radiant warmth and tenderness. This reconciliation through Christ makes one feel new and truly alive. The Bible assures us: "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation." II Cor. 5:17, 18.
The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy, includes a beautiful chapter that brings profound insight into the mission of our Saviour, Jesus, the great Exemplar of Christ, Truth. The chapter is entitled "Atonement and Eucharist." The opening paragraph explains the true unity that exists between God and man. It also affirms, "Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man's oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage."
In the next paragraph we read, "The atonement of Christ reconciles man to God, not God to man; for the divine Principle of Christ is God, and how can God propitiate Himself?" The paragraph concludes: "Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus' teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit,—the law of divine Love." Science and Health, pp. 18–19.
So the very act of being reconciled to God through Christ brings us healing and redemption, for as we gain a truer sense of infinite, omnipotent Love, we find release from the bondage of disease and sin. Yet reconciliation does require something of the individual. It may require more earnest prayer, humility, a willingness to accept God's will. It may demand genuine repentance followed by actions that prove our sincerity, devotion, and integrity. But what joy there is in meeting these Christian demands!
Many of the hymns that are sung in Christian Science churches rejoice in the close relationship of God and man. They speak of God as Father-Mother; as Love that is unchanging; as a merciful God who comforts, guards, and guides His children; as our best and ever friend. One hymn describes how "the healing word of Love" comes and how we feel "the Father Love within." The final stanza resounds:
So we find the true atonement,
Know in God the perfect Friend;
For in Love is our at-one-ment,
Where all hearts in Him may blend.
Here from prisoning pain and sorrow
Have we all a sure release,
Only God can bring us gladness,
Only God can give us peace. Christian Science Hymnal, No. 263.
As in Jesus' day when our Master preached God's Word, healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out evils, so in our own day the Christ is active in every searching thought, every humble heart, that yearns to know man's unity with the Father. The Christ does reconcile us to our "perfect Friend." And in this joyous reconciliation we'll find that "sure release" from whatever prison we may feel trapped in; we will know that gift of pure peace, which we can obtain in no other way.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
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