Reversing Error

In Luke's Gospel it is recorded that Jesus once "went into a city called Nain." Now Nain was a small town situated only a few miles from Nazareth, where Jesus was brought up and spent his early manhood; so it may be gathered that Jesus knew the place well, and in all probability had friends and acquaintances there. On the day before this visit Jesus had done a wonderful work at Capernaum: he had healed the servant of a centurion much beloved by the Jews, for he had built them a synagogue.

The result of this healing was that when Jesus went to Nain, he was followed not only by his own disciples, but by a multitude of people. On approaching the gateway of Nain, this large concourse with Jesus at the head was met by a procession coming in the opposite direction. This procession proved to be a funeral party coming out of the city and following the bier of a young man, the only son of a sorrowing mother.

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It was the custom among the Jews at that time for anyone who met a funeral party to join the procession and accompany it to the graveside. To do this was looked upon as a sign of respect to the dead. It would be expected of Jesus, perhaps, and of all who were with him, that they should turn and follow this sad party to the burial place. But our Master had no intention of so doing. Instead, his compassionate look went straight to the one who was suffering most, the mother of the young man; and he said to her, "Weep not." Then turning to the bier he bade the young man arise. "And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother." No wonder those who stood around glorified God! Within a few moments Jesus had reversed the whole situation, the sad occasion, the mournful procession, the grief of the mother; and one can imagine with what joy that erstwhile sad party must have turned back and accompanied Jesus and his followers. In this beautiful story of one of our Master's great works we find a profound lesson, helpful to Christian Scientists in their daily experience.

Perhaps as we proceed along our mental journey some problem may arise that seems to suggest difficulty, discouragement, or grief, and we become aware of a procession of doleful thoughts wending their way along our mental path and claiming to fill the whole horizon of our consciousness. Why has this trouble come to me? What have I done to deserve it? I feel utterly depressed and miserable about it. So the train of mortal thoughts takes its weary way towards the graveside of the problem, there to let it destroy itself through time or suffering.

But no! We hear an inward voice crying "Halt" to such thinking! We remember that Christian Science has revealed to us the Comforter, and the Christ-understanding has thereby risen in our hearts. So, like Jesus before that funeral procession, we refuse to accept the evidence of the material senses as real, and are able to reverse their claims. Christian Science has taught us that God is good, the sender and giver of good only; therefore that evil, in whatever guise or disguise it may present itself, has no real entity or power. Evil just stands, as it were, in our path and asks us to believe in it. But we are able to take our mental stand against it, and reverse its suggestions in our own thinking. Mrs. Eddy writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 120), "Science reverses the false testimony of the physical senses, and by this reversal mortals arrive at the fundamental facts of being." In these fundamental facts of being we find only the perfection of God and His spiritual creation. To God, then, there is no problem, for He sees perfect harmony everywhere; and what we have to do is to rise in consciousness and see things from His standpoint, continuing steadfastly to hold our gaze in this, the right direction.

In order that the fact of divine perfection shall be manifested outwardly and visibly, the solution of the human problem needs to appear in our experience. Here we have to see that we are not to outline the means or method by which good is to flow to us, but rather to abide in the expectation of divine harmony, trusting God to take care of the whole situation. Yes, one may say, I have tried hard to do this and to think along these lines, but still the problem does not yield; what more can I do? In such a case we need to continue to apply the great qualities of patience, persistence, and trust.

Paul counseled the Ephesians, "Having done all, to stand." Are we not tempted sometimes, having done all we seemingly can, to give way? If error seems persistent, we need to be more persistent still in maintaining the truth. If error seems relentless, we need to stand more relentlessly and courageously still for God's allness. There is nothing eternal about error. It is bound to come to an end sometime, for it carries within itself not a single lasting element. Every moment of time is now; so why should not God's glory be made manifest and the problem melt into its native nothingness here and now?

Let us take courage from our Exemplar, Jesus the Christ, and call a halt to any procession of distressed or unhappy thoughts in which we may be indulging. It may need a big effort to do this, but there is no occasion to accept and indulge in thinking that is without Principle or reality. On the contrary, such thinking can be straightway reversed if we will fairly and squarely face the fact that God is the only Mind. Thus we shall rise in thought and find that from God's point of view everything is all right, and we are entering the heavenly city of divine consciousness and experience.

Mrs. Eddy shows us what we can do and what we may expect when she writes (Science and Health, p. 406), "We can, and ultimately shall, so rise as to avail ourselves in every direction of the supremacy of Truth over error, Life over death, and good over evil, and this growth will go on until we arrive at the fulness of God's idea, and no more fear that we shall be sick and die."

Why Worry?
February 11, 1928

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