My husband and I could demonstrate in a humble way what difference it makes when human thought is brought under the gravitational pull of divine Love and its order of events, the basic law of the powerhouse of Love. We were in search for the right buyers of our condominium and for a new condominium at about the same time, and at the proposal of a Christian Science practitioner we looked at the concept of home in the Bible. We were encouraged to pray with the story of the woman of Shunem. In this story as related in the fourth chapter of 2 Kings, a spiritually minded woman prepares a place for a prophet, for Elisha, who occasionally comes through her village. She tells her husband: “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”
(2. Kings 4) This story is about divine perception and about spiritual attraction at the same time.
This lamp my husband and I understood for our situation to be the expectancy of Love as expressed in gratitude, spiritual sense, willingness to follow. Light in "the window" of thought - our task! There is something wonderfully meek and gentle about putting out a mental light – while at the same time looking out for a light which will draw us home. The acknowledgment and perception of spiritual truth enable us to see the specifics of good for our experience, but also enable us to become visible to good in a specific way. Spiritual understanding is this light on the candlestick. I actively included in my prayer everyone without a home, refugees, poor and lost people on the go, addressing homelessness as a terrible imposition on humanity which Love’s embrace rectifies.
In Isaiah (chapter 60) we read: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee.”
What we perceived was the double action of the powerhouse of Love: There is the light marking home and there is the capacity and guidance to perceive this light. Spiritual sense is the effect of Spirit on us, the effect of the will of Love to be felt and known – it marks the attraction of Love and makes Love visible. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come.” Our house found a family after our commitment to Love’s design became honest and sincere, but I remember one moment when being shaken with the prospect of selling our home, leaving our beloved family home behind. It was again a comment by my husband which broke through my sadness. “We are never selling or leaving home, dear; we are just selling a house.” In order to sort through step two of our experience, finding a new home for ourselves, we had gone for a few days to the seaside to pray and listen and sort this out.
The finding happened a few hours later, when my husband closed his Bible with vigor and declared an end to searching as opposed to finding. A phone call from a realtor reached us. We went directly to this gorgeous pre-WWII residential building in a historic area of our town which our family cherished for a long time, and learned it had been filled with classical music concerts for decades, something we deeply cherish, too. We can confidently say that the understanding of home as a powerhouse brought with it the ability to see and perceive its concrete expression in our experience. It also strengthened us to replace a limited sense of home for the expansive view of home as the consciousness of divine Love.
Now in other areas, too, I find placing a mental lamp (announcing the demand) and at the same time looking out for the answer (the supply part) is a powerful tool. God's love is providing the inspiration for both.
A guest blog post by Anna-Lena Hathaway
As many families around the world prepare for Christmas, by playing music, putting up lights, or decorating a Christmas tree, I am reminded of a family tradition of celebrating the advent season. One definition of the Latin word “adventus” means “coming.” In many Christian churches, advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the coming of Christ and the celebration of the Nativity at Christmas. The advent season provides the opportunity to share the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah. Today, this countdown can be found in advent calendars with chocolate, socks, or other treats, and many families, churches, and cultures light a candle for the four Sundays before Christmas.
Years ago my grandmother Dorette Kreutziger, a Journal-listed practitioner of Christian Science, created her own “Christian Science advent calendar” by reading through the twenty-four questions and answers in the chapter “Recapitulation” in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The discoverer and founder of Christian Science laid out these twenty-four questions and answers to explain the principles behind her discovery. Mrs. Eddy begins the chapter with the most fundamental question: “What is God?” to which the author writes: “God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love” (Science & Health, p. 465: 8). In her second question, Mrs. Eddy calls these terms synonymous with the “one absolute God” (Science & Health, p. 465: 12). Through these twenty-four questions and answers, she explains how to address and overcome challenges by affirming the ever-present power of God, our relationship with God, and how to apply these truths to our daily lives. She concludes her chapter with the “important points, or religious tenets, of Christian Science” (Science & Health, p. 497: 1). These twenty-four questions sum up the philosophy of Christian Science, whose purpose, Mrs. Eddy explains, is to “reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing” (Manual of the Mother Church p. 17: 12-13). My grandmother’s exercise makes for a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the divine Principles governing the universe as set forth by Christian Science, whether the reader is new to Christian Science or has been a student for many years.
Pondering the seven synonyms: Principle, Life, Love, Truth, Mind, Soul, and Spirit offer a daily opportunity to express God in unique and new ways and to find our own completeness as God’s infinite expression or reflection. As I look forward to diving into these questions and answers again this December, I am reminded of the true meaning of Christmas and greeted with an immense sense of gratitude for Christ Jesus. We can all increase our spiritual understanding by expressing and witnessing those synonyms for God in our daily lives.
Some further reading?
Our first real Christmas (by Scott Preller)
The Christmas season or Christmas: Which shall it be? (by James Spencer)
"...and I want to remember..." (by Kate Robertson)
Quiet anticipation in 24 steps (by Annette Kreutziger-Herr)
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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