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Christ—an always-present divine influence

From the February 12, 2018 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

My dad recently handed me an old laptop he no longer uses. It was mostly in good condition, but it had a problem—messages would intermittently pop up on the screen, declaring that there were significant errors with the hard drive. After searching the internet for more information, I found a web page explaining that many computers come with a “Check Disk” program that corrects hard drive errors. So, following the instructions, I ran the program, waited for about half an hour, and voilà, the hard drive was fixed. No more errors.

I was impressed by the simplicity of this remedy. At first the problem had appeared quite serious, and I’m told it had been there for a long time. It turned out, however, that the tool required to fix the issue was actually built in to the computer itself. Once the program ran, the entire problem was eliminated—and with no fuss.

The Apostle Paul knew little about digital technology, living as he did a long time before modern computers were invented. Nevertheless, he definitely knew quite a lot about correcting errors. In his first letter to the Corinthians he wrote: “When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (15:54).

One definition of corrupt is “made unreliable by errors.” It’s easy to see that trying to use a hard drive “corrupted” with errors would be a frustrating experience, hence the reason why I was so pleased when everything was put right. But what about other errors apparent in our daily lives, like all sorts of frustrating things we might experience—lack, sickness, sorrow, guilt? These errors may sometimes seem to linger around forever, and one might say, If only there were a “Check Disk” program, our own built-in remedy, that could sort out everything in life.

Well, maybe there is. In his letter, Paul shares with the Corinthians something of his understanding of Christ, the divine Truth Jesus lived and taught. Paul wrote that “in Christ shall all be made alive,” and said, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:22, 57). Could it be possible, then, that Christ is our own built-in solution, so to speak, to error correction in every department of life?

One woman who was well acquainted with long-standing problems was Mary Baker Eddy. For much of the first half of her life she struggled with illness, and then, after a severe fall, found herself on the brink of death. During this experience, however, her Christian faith in God remained intact. In Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, she explains: “On the third day thereafter, I called for my Bible, and opened it at Matthew ix. 2. As I read, the healing Truth dawned upon my sense; and the result was that I rose, dressed myself, and ever after was in better health than I had before enjoyed” (p. 24). In another place in Miscellaneous Writings, she recalls how after her healing she was asked, “… ‘How is it that you are restored to us? Has Christ come again on earth?’ ” Mrs. Eddy replied: “ ‘Christ never left,’ … ‘Christ is Truth, and Truth is always here,—the impersonal Saviour’ ” (p. 180).

Mrs. Eddy’s wonderful experience moved her to a deeper understanding of how such a healing is possible through Christ, Truth. Not only had she been freed from her injuries resulting from the fall, but her overall health had significantly improved. And her healing experience led her to the revelation and understanding of the divine law that underlies all Christian healing, and she named her discovery Christian Science.

Through Christ every individual can experience healing.

This discovery that the Christ could correct and heal errors such as sickness, disease, and sin led her to write the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which explains this healing method. In this book she defines Christ as “the divine message from God to men, speaking to the human consciousness” (p. 332), and in another place, she refers to Immanuel, another name for Christ, as “a divine influence ever present in human consciousness” (p. xi). 

The context for this last passage reads: “The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural. They are the sign of 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.”

It’s wonderful to know that Christ is an ever-present influence in human consciousness—regardless of one’s religion, gender, age, or social status. Through Christ every individual can experience the divine power that transforms and corrects our thoughts, thus bringing healing to all areas of our lives. 

Recently I had an experience that illustrated something of this healing power. I had just attended a meeting in France where I had the pleasure of seeing a number of old friends, and was making my way back to the hostel where I was staying. During the day, however, a headache had been growing in intensity, and now, despite my prayers, it was quite severe. When I reached the hostel, I reached out to a fellow Christian Scientist for prayerful support. After this person had shared some helpful thoughts, reminding me of my true, spiritual, harmonious nature as God’s child, I decided to go for a walk in the streets of the city.

As I walked, I realized I was entertaining some unhelpful thoughts. The city I was staying in was much bigger and busier than my hometown, and some parts of it had seemed a little downtrodden. Some of the posters and advertisements that lined the streets were also giving me a somewhat negative impression of city life. Then I remembered an idea that had come to me during the meeting earlier. A projection on the main screen had included these words: Réunion Régionale, and the syllable had caught my attention. Since in French is pronounced similar to the English ray, it made me think of rays—rays of light—and in particular, rays of Christ light coming from God and bringing inspiration to the meeting.

So now, as I was out walking, I thought of the rays of Christ light shining in the city where I was staying and uplifting the thought of all around, including me. These rays from God had the power to bring comfort to everyone in the city, including the many immigrants and homeless people. With these thoughts, I felt the pain starting to lift, so I returned to the hostel where I was staying. That night I slept very well, and the next morning I woke up absolutely fine.

Through Christian Science I’ve learned that God’s man, the divine likeness, is never corruptible—he is immortal, perfect, and complete. As we begin to understand this, we lose a false sense of the mortal, “corruptible” man, and we gain a clearer view of the incorruptible man, God’s reflection. This understanding is evidence of the Christ at work, transforming human consciousness as it corrects the errors of material sense and restoring the spiritual sense that identifies God’s perfect work—manifest in health and happiness, which is normal and natural to everyone.

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