Our most precious freedom

“The Christ is so wonderful!”

These joyful words were voiced by a testifier during a Wednesday evening meeting at a branch Church of Christ, Scientist. At these meetings, congregants relate ways in which practicing Christian Science has freed them from limitations, including physical and mental ills. Each healing experience shared can uplift and inspire those hearing it, as can the healing accounts published weekly in this periodical. But every healing also offers something more: continuing evidence that, as the Bible says, Christ is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). 

Christian Science reveals Christ as the healing power of divine Truth, God, unchanging and always at hand—as most powerfully evidenced in the life and healings of Christ Jesus. He understood God’s unbounded goodness and our nature as the spiritual expression of that divine goodness. This shone a light on divinity’s allness, refuting suggestions that we can be defined by any state of being apart from goodness. 

Acceptance of this Christly idea brings to light a spiritual freedom that’s even greater than the kind of history-altering freedom celebrated in the United States every July 4, a liberation won from oppression. Instead of freedom in opposition to something, the freedom Christ reveals is a native spiritual characteristic of every one of us. As Paul’s second letter to Christians in Corinth put it, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17). Spirit, God, is everywhere, and everyone’s true identity is God’s image, so Spirit’s liberty is reflected in us all.

Catching sight of this God-given, God-reflecting freedom heals our minds and bodies, as the testifier’s account that Wednesday evening proved. In distressing pain, she had read the Bible account of a leper saying to Jesus, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Despite the great fear of contagion surrounding leprosy, Jesus freely reached out to touch the man. “ ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ ” (Matthew 8:2, 3, New International Version). The man was cured in that instant. 

As she pondered Jesus’ fearless compassion, the testifier said, she became profoundly aware of the Christ presence, the spiritual idea of God’s boundlessly embracing love. And she was immediately and permanently freed of that pain. 

Whether we’re fearing a looming challenge or facing a lingering one, Christ is present to reveal our perfect spiritual identity.

Such Christ-healing goes beyond affording us welcome freedom from what over a hundred and fifty years of Christian Science healing has been proving isn’t true—such as illness or pain. Christ also illumines our most precious freedom, our innate capacity to understand and experience what is true: God’s ever-present, all-loving nature and our pure and perfect reflection of that. 

Healings on this basis don’t always come instantaneously. Sometimes it takes making gains in and holding to the understanding of what is true until it proves itself true, as we persistently assert, “I am spiritual; I am free” in whatever freshly inspired ways it comes to us to do so. This, too, is the Christ coming to us to free us, as “Immanuel, or ‘God with us,’—a divine influence ever present in human consciousness and repeating itself, coming now as was promised aforetime, 

To preach deliverance to the captives [of sense], 
And recovering of sight to the blind, 
To set at liberty them that are bruised” 
(Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. xi).

Whether we’re fearing a looming challenge or facing a lingering one, Christ is permanently present to reveal our perfect spiritual identity.

The ability to open our hearts to Christ’s divine influence is a freedom that isn’t at the mercy of material circumstances, personal or collective. To the degree that we have lost sight of the truth that we’re God’s children, this spiritual freedom feels vulnerable to things beyond our control. But the unspiritual self we seem to be, made up of physicality and a brain-based sense of intellectual acumen, is a waking dream of the unspiritual mentality that the Bible calls the carnal mind. 

This suppositional mentality misconceives individual and collective identity as confined to and defined by mortal existence. But Christ illumines a spiritual sense within us that lifts this gloomy, material misperception of ourselves and others by revealing the opposite, divine reality. This higher view dispels biological, theological, and medical misinterpretations of existence as exclusively or primarily material by bringing to light the actuality of God’s immortal creation, forever spiritual, whole, and harmonious. 

The increasing ability to discern and embrace this truth of God, the creator, and us, the creation, leads us to live in accord with moral and spiritual guidance in the Bible and Science and Health and gain in our ability to heal ourselves and others. As we do so, how can we possibly refrain from singing praises to our Father-Mother God and Her wonderful, liberating message, the Christ?

Tony Lobl, Associate Editor 

Keeping Watch
Getting to know God's angels
July 4, 2022

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