Feature – The Kingdom of Heaven at Hand
Guest post by Linda Black, C.S.
It’s probably safe to say that we would all like to have more harmony in our lives. We seem to be confronted daily with good and bad experiences – both appearing to be equally real to us. This is certainly a contentious, dualistic sense of life, isn’t it? Fortunately, there are ways to tip the balance towards the side of good. All can experience more good by accessing a heavenly state of existence at any moment of any day. Christ Jesus made that very clear when he declared this possibility on more than one occasion! As he entered into his three-year public mission, we read that he “began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17).
What made Jesus’ words so powerful was that he followed up on them with remarkable
healings that uplifted and harmonized people’s lives, and the Bible gives us evidence that he expected others to abide by his example. As he sent his disciples out for their healing mission, he instructed them to preach the very same message he’d been preaching (Matt. 10:7), knowing that healing works are the undeniable evidence of a heavenly state of being right at hand.
So, if the kingdom of heaven, or reign of harmony on earth (Science and Health 121:6), was present in Jesus’ time, what would prevent it from being accessible to us today? Certainly, if something is known to be truth, could there ever be a time or place when it is not true? Jesus came to reveal truth to the world (John 1:17), and truth is defined as reality or fact. Thus, the fact is that we should expect to experience the kingdom of heaven, an ever-present harmonious state of being, here and now!
Mary Baker Eddy, an influential author, thinker, and religious leader of the late 19th century, discovered the eternality of Jesus’ teachings. Her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, gives us his complete theology in a way that we can understand and utilize. She recognized that his conviction of Truth was based on a divine order of being, or spiritual laws governing the universe, which are still relevant today. She named this system of healing Christian Science.
Mrs. Eddy and Jesus saw that the very first elucidation of the divine law is found in the first chapter of Genesis, which establishes the fundamental scientific order of creation. In Genesis I, God is established as the creator and ruler of all true being, and everything He has created is “very good.” Man, a generic term for man, woman, and child, is made in His image and likeness. Therefore, man is God’s “very good” creation (Gen. 1:1,26,27,31).
It is evident from this account of creation, and the demonstrations of Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy, that we are designed to express God’s pure goodness, and that we live in His infinite “very good” kingdom. Genesis I gives no expiration date for the goodness of the divine kingdom. These are the facts of being that Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy proved for us. Now, we have the privilege of proving them for ourselves. We have the way to do it spelled out in Science and Health; we have the example of Christ Jesus to follow; and we have the inspired Word of the Bible to guide us.
As we use these tools to understand more fully our true identity as being governed by divine law, we naturally become more aware of the presence of the kingdom of heaven in our lives. Our experience improves as our thought more closely coincides with the spiritual sense of being. The effect of Christian Science is to harmonize. So, as we utilize this Science, we can expect a harmonizing of our lives. In other words, everything about us becomes more concordant with divine Truth, until ultimately we see and experience nothing but the presence of divine Love.
Mrs. Eddy writes: “Our Master said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Then God and heaven, or Life, are present…They are now and here; and a change in human consciousness…would reveal this wonder of being. Because God is ever present, no boundary of time can separate us from Him and the heaven of His presence…” (Unity of Good 37:6)
Linda Black, CS earned a Masters degree in education, spending twenty years teaching and coaching students of all ages – from primary grades to college. In 1986 she became a Journal-listed Christian Science Practitioner which has kept her busy, along with church work and raising a beautiful family.