I’m no physics expert—far from it! But, I’ve been thinking about centripetal force lately. It’s the force that keeps things moving toward the center. In fact, the word "centripetal" literally means center-seeking. Physicists would tell you that it’s what keeps the planets orbiting around the sun instead of spinning off indefinitely into some far-off corner of the universe.
We see the benefits of centripetal force here on earth, too. For example, it’s what keeps your bottom securely in your seat when you’re riding your favorite loop-de-loop roller coaster at the theme park. Even though your world is momentarily upside down, centripetal force keeps you in place by pulling you toward the center of things, rather than letting you be flung off into the funnel cake stand!
So, what does all of this elementary physics discussion have to do with the practice of Christian Science? Well, this center-focused force is more than just physics; there’s a deeper law working here—a spiritual law. For me, centripetal force is a symbol of the power of God, divine Spirit, causing us to be more acquainted with Him.
In the Christian Science textbook, Mary Baker Eddy says, “God is at once the centre and circumference of being” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 203). It follows, that God is right here and now, directly in the middle of everything you are, everything you do, and everywhere you go.
God, being the center of all things, His action, like centripetal force, is pulling our attention toward Him. I like to think of it this way: “There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit. The pointing of the needle to the pole symbolizes this all-embracing power or the attraction of God, divine Mind” (Science and Health, p. 102).
The prophet Jeremiah recorded God’s promise of His attracting law when he wrote, “they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:34).
This centripetal-like power is causing our thought to focus on God, Spirit, and therefore, the spiritual nature of things. You may not have labeled it this way, but there is tangible proof that this is happening continuously.
Whenever anyone feels a desire to be better, or to see more good going on around him or her—that’s God. Whenever anyone longs to break free from the burden of fears and limitations—that’s God. Whenever anyone stamps his or her feet and demands to see nothing less than the reign of peace in the world—that’s God, too. These are some of the indications that God is working centripetally to spiritualize our concept of things.
But, what about centrifugal force—you know, the opposite of the center-seeking force? If I were spinning a ball on a string and someone cut the string, that ball would zing off in whatever direction it happened to be going at that moment. But, physicists would tell you, what looks like centrifugal force causing the ball to sail away is actually not a real force at all. It’s merely a reaction to not enough centripetal force to keep the object in place.
Similarly, there's no opposing force that can "cut the string" on our gravitation toward God. In fact, God's action has no opposite. Unlike in physics where there can be an insufficiency of centripetal force, with God, there is always enough. Since He is the center and circumference of our being, He is within and without everything--He fills all space. God and what He has created is all there really is. There is never an absence or lack of anything that God is or does--never a shortage of His centripetal-like power.
So, get on that roller coaster and loop that loop. And while centripetal force is holding you tightly in your seat, you can recognize that God is also holding your focus on Him and the true spiritual nature of all things.
Another thought on centripetal force:
Miscellaneous Writings p. 19
Miscellaneous Writings p. 307
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog and included a recipe for one of my favorite Christmas treats. I think it's worth a repeat this year. Enjoy!
When I was growing up, Mom always made Chocolate Chip Applesauce Loaf Cake—Chocolate Chip Bread, as my brother and I called it. Just the smell of it baking in the oven can transport me back to when I was a little girl--excited for the arrival of Christmas day!
Like this Christmastime goodie, there may be things you smell, hear, or taste, that remind you of certain situations, or even people: “Every time I smell roses, I think of Aunt Mary.” Although this is a harmless example, sometimes these “associations” aren’t so positive.
Maybe you’ve found yourself thinking something like this before: “Every time I work in my garden, I wake up sore.” Often, these connections aren’t personal; they’re general. “It’s December—flu season!”
We may feel we’re destined to experience the consequences of certain associations, but in fact, we’re not. In my own life, I’ve found it helpful to break free from their negative—but avoidable—effects by seeing them as Saint Paul did. In the Bible, he called evil, harmful thoughts, “the carnal mind,” and showed us how we can overcome these thoughts that obviously reject God, good. Why wouldn’t we want to be proactive in addressing this so-called mortal mind, which is daily making mental connections that lead to misconceptions and problems?
Another way to think of these associations is as “associative animal magnetism.” That’s a mouthful, but simply put, it stands for the thoughts that lead us to associate an action, time, person, or object, with a negative effect. This ultimately results in pulling us down—making us feel like we’re magnets for unhappiness, dissatisfaction, even sickness.
Spiritual thinker, and author, Mary Baker Eddy, discovered this link, and wrote about it, back in the 19th Century. She said, “Disease arises, like other mental conditions, from association” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 154).
Following this statement with an example on the same page, Mrs. Eddy gave an account of a man who was told he was occupying the bed of a patient who had died of cholera—a disease considered to be highly contagious in the early 1800s. He immediately developed the symptoms of the disease and died.
OK, that’s a dramatic example. And while you won’t find yourself in a situation like that, you might find yourself in an office full of people talking about flu symptoms and begin to experience them yourself. So how do you protect yourself from these false mental connections?
A good place to start is with another name for God—Mind. Since there is only one God, there is only one Mind. Every legitimate and good thought comes from this one and only divine Mind. The carnal, or mortal mind, that makes connections leading to sickness, despair, or suffering can’t possibly tell you the truth about anything, because as Paul pointed out to the Romans back in Bible times, “The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7). Only the Mind that is also Truth, can give you the true picture of things.
When faced with associative animal magnetism and its ill effects, you can remember this instruction from Mrs. Eddy: “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (Science and Health, p. 261:4).
Those good, health-giving thoughts from Mind are the perfect remedy. And they’re even sweeter than Mom’s Chocolate Chip Bread on Christmas morning!
If you'd like to make this sweet treat, here is the recipe:
Chocolate Chip Applesauce Loaf Cake
Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan, and place waxed paper inside, just on the bottom.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
1/2 cup Crisco
1 cup sugar
2 eggs--add 1 at a time and beat well
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
Add 1 cup applesauce alternately with the flour mixture, into the Crisco, sugar, egg mixture.
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chocolate chips over the top. Bake at 325 degrees for about 75 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from pan.
There were many lovely images of dinner tables I could have chosen for my Thanksgiving blog. However, I couldn't resist this one! Chased by a turkey?! It made me laugh.
It spoke to me because sometimes it seems like the food kind of takes over Thanksgiving day. I'm not denying the feast is delicious. But, you don't want the turkey to chase you away from the real reason for the celebration.
Nicely, Christian Science branch churches and societies have a church service on Thanksgiving morning. I love its simple format: hymns, prayer, a lesson-sermon on the topic read from our Pastor, the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. It also includes the Thanksgiving proclamation from either the President of the United States, or the Governor of your state. Those speech writers really know how to write a moving proclamation!
But, the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie of this service, so to speak, is a time set aside for the congregation to stand and give gratitude for all of their blessings. If you haven't attended one of these Thanksgiving services, I highly recommend it! You are so welcome there, and there's something about giving thanks and hearing others do the same that makes a person feel very close to God.
Wait a minute! You might be asking: is Thanksgiving a religious holiday? Like Christmas or Easter?! Well, yes! God is very much a part of Thanksgiving. After all, God is the source of all good. In fact, He is good itself. Everything good and lasting has its source in Him.
Don't get me wrong. God doesn't load us up with material objects. God is Spirit, Mind. What He gives has to be like Him. It has to be spiritual ideas. Everything around you that is truly good, gives you a glimpse of the everlasting nature of the spiritual goodness it represents. For example, that great job you're happy to have? It shows the fact that you have a holy purpose to express God in tangible spiritual qualities such as: punctuality, organization, and intelligence.
Grateful for family and friends? This points to something I've thought a lot about. God, is the great Networker. He knows All of His beloved creation. If you find yourself companioning with others who make your life more fun and content, that's because God has gathered His ideas in just the way that blesses everyone the most.
Do you have what you need each day? That's because, as Mrs. Eddy says, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (Science and Health, p. 494).
Is this true for everyone? Yes. Our one universal God is everywhere present, bestowing good impartially, and supplying His creation with infinite blessings. That's the spiritual fact of things. Sometimes it doesn't seem that good is everywhere and for everyone...but it is.
Right where lack seems more apparent than abundance, we can offer up a prayer of affirmation that God is indeed, right there, blessing, protecting, and caring for His creation. Knowing this can make a big difference in the world today. Acknowledging God's active presence brings His present attributes into view. You could say, it's like when the wind chases away the clouds, and there's the sun, shining just like it was all along. The clouds of despair, lack, and gloom (in whatever form they appear) can't keep God's children from being blessed, any more than the clouds can keep the sun from shining, It's inevitable that goodness and abundance are seen everywhere for everyone. We can give gratitude for this fact, even if we aren't seeing it at the moment.
One of the most moving examples of giving gratitude in the face of dire circumstances is found in the life of Christ Jesus. This account is found in the Bible in the book of John, chapter 11. Jesus was called to the house of his friends, Mary and Martha. Their brother Lazarus was sick and they wanted Jesus to come heal him. However, when Jesus got to there, they told him Lazarus was already gone. But, this didn't stop Jesus. He knew sickness wasn't ever a part of his friend, Lazarus, because it didn't have its source in God, Life. He went to the tomb and paused to pray this prayer: "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always" (John, chapter 11:41,42). He gave gratitude, right there, in the face of all of the grief, sadness, gloom, and death. And the result was that Lazarus walked right out of the tomb and continued to fulfill his purpose in that household.
The powerful effect of gratitude in the story of Lazarus is worth pondering. It gives us all a lot of food for thought.
So, this Thanksgiving day, don't let the turkey, stuffing, and pie chase you away from pondering the power of gratitude. It's an active and healing element in the lives of each one of us.
Spanish-speakers have it right. The Spanish phrase for Thanksgiving is, Acción de Gracias. Yes, just like it looks: The action of thanks. Let gratitude move you Thanksgiving day, and every day! You'll see more of the good that's present in your life, and in the lives of those around the world.
If you'd like to attend a Thanksgiving day service in a Christian Science branch of Society, you can find a list of churches by clicking here. They'd love to share thanks with you!
I've been giving the 10 commandments a closer look by blogging about one of them each Friday. This is the last week. We've made it to number 10! If you missed some, you can scroll down for the last ten blogs on the topic.
The last commandment is: Thou shalt not covet. In other words, we shouldn’t wish with all our hearts that we had what someone else has. To gaze longingly at the lives of others blinds us to the good that’s already right in front of us.
To understand this commandment more fully, I like to start with the nature of God.
God is Love itself. In the textbook of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy refers to God as “the great Giver” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 112). It follows then, that Love is the great Giver.
We are all part of God’s loved creation. God is our divine Parent, and because He is Love itself, and we are His loved offspring, He delights in us all equally. “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (Science and Health, p. 13). God doesn't give more to one of His children than another.
These may seem like faraway ideas that will happen someday—maybe one day when we’re spiritual, we’ll be with God and He’ll help us. But, in my study of Christian Science, I’ve learned that our spiritual nature—the only nature we really have—is present here and now. Because we are Spirit’s likeness, our identities are spiritual in this moment. We aren’t waiting to become spiritual. In fact, all of the abundantly infinite goodness of Spirit is present for the seeing.
We don’t have to wish we had what someone else has because... we all have it all. That’s right. Just like on that famous Oprah show where she gave away new cars to the studio audience. We all get it all! Well, Oprah may be wealthy and generous, but not as much as the great Giver, divine Love! What He gives us are ideas, and those ideas are infinite, present, tangible, and meet the human need, right now, today.
Some years ago, my husband was unemployed for a time. Doing without that paycheck for who knew how long was daunting. But, every day we listened for divine direction. My husband went on interviews, many of which didn’t pan out, but we knew that we were cared for. Why? Because it’s Love’s nature to provide for Her children.
Our need was met with intelligent and creative ideas: My husband looked for and found odd jobs, my public practice of Christian Science became busier, we thought of ways to decrease our everyday spending, and therefore, decrease our normal bills. All of this came together to meet our need. We never wished we had what others had. We could see the present need being met and we could feel the promise of tomorrow bringing the same, and even greater supply. Eventually, my husband got a new job, and we also had a new view of how God supplies our need and everyone else’s.
Holding on to the fact that we all have it all keeps the 10th commandment to not covet. Who needs to covet what others have when all the good our divine Father has is right here for the taking? We all get it all!
I'm giving the 10 commandments a closer look by blogging about one of them each Friday. Scroll down for the last nine blogs on the topic.
This week I'm thinking about the ninth commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
You know all those rumors you hear about others? Part of keeping this commandment would be not to forward those on to others. Fake news. Spreading lies about your neighbor. And yes, our neighbor is really everyone. After all, the world is pretty small nowadays.
But, what if the ugly rumor is true about that person? Keep the ninth commandment and don't forward those on either. Why? Well, this is where your spiritual perspective comes in.
Man--that includes every man, woman, and child--is the spiritual representative of the all-loving God, good. You could say that man is God's reflection. Now, when you think about a reflection, you might consider beautiful trees on the bank of a still lake. The lake is like a mirror and the image of the trees are reflected perfectly. The image on the water looks just exactly like the original.
In the same way, since we all are God's image, we must be just as glorious as He is. In fact, Jesus left this command for all of us today. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Of course, he wasn't talking about human perfectionism. He was asking us to see ourselves and others as God's whole, perfect, and spiritual likeness.
So, how does this fit in with loving our neighbor? To not see our fellowman falsely, we have to look beyond the surface of things and see them as God's image, in other words, spiritually. You may wonder how you would even begin to do that. It helps to take a really close look at the original, God, to see what our true nature as His image is like. I love this description that Spirit, or God, gives of Himself in the textbook of Christian Science.
"I am Spirit. Man, whose senses are spiritual, is my likeness. He reflects the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity. The beauty of holiness, the perfection of being, imperishable glory, — all are Mine, for I am God. I give immortality to man, for I am Truth. I include and impart all bliss, for I am Love. I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life. I am supreme and give all, for I am Mind. I am the substance of all, because I am that I am" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 252,253).
Following that description of God, we can see that everyone is reflecting, or expressing beauty so holy it can't be marred; perfection that is never mixed with imperfection; and glory, shining so brightly it will never die out. You and your fellowman include the unending joy, bliss, and vibrancy of eternal life.
So, keep the ninth by being willing to look beyond the material surface of things, which includes limitations, character flaws, and imperfection. God has commanded that you not bear false witness, so go ahead, see the true concept of God and His loved reflection wherever you go!
See you next week for commandment number 10!
Thou shalt not steal. Stealing. To me, it comes in many different forms. The obvious would be taking something intentionally from someone or some place; purse snatching, pocket picking, shoplifting, embezzling. Those all come to mind. Then we have the selfish driver who doesn’t use a blinker. He or she is stealing moments of other drivers’ days. All of these fit in to the 8th commandment.
I had a revelation about a different form of stealing when my daughters were in grade school.
I was active in the parent-teacher group at their school. I also did a lot of general volunteer work there. I helped the student council with their little store set-up at noon on Fridays; herded children to the photographer on school picture day; organized fund raisers for the school and so on. It was really too much at times, but since this was a school where there were a lot of single parents or parents who both had full time jobs, it seemed like I had to do it all. I was a stay-at-home mom, after all.
One day, I was working in the copier room, while another mom was cutting some figures out of construction paper for her child’s classroom. I was surprised to hear how thrilled she was to be there! She said when there was a need at the school she would be happy to take a few hours off from her job and volunteer her time. It was eye-opening. I had assumed that most of the other parents weren’t interested in being there. It gave me food for thought.
It hit me that if I rushed around and did everything, as efficient as that was, I could be stealing the opportunity for another parent to have the satisfaction of taking part in their child’s classroom. I’d also be stealing the joy that a child might feel seeing their parent caring enough to take part in their school.
From then on, I tried hard to find others to do what needed to be done, instead of hurrying to do it myself. It seems simple, but it shifted my thought into more loving encounters with others and the school benefited by more parents lending a hand. In fact, it has been a helpful lesson in other groups and organizations I’ve worked with since then. And that revelation led to another one.
In the textbook of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy writes, “Constant toil, deprivations, exposures, and all untoward conditions, if without sin, can be experienced without suffering. Whatever it is your duty to do, you can do without harm to yourself” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 385).
In this school experience, the “sin” if you want to call it that, was stealing, by taking over activities without involving others. The suffering was feeling too busy, overwhelmed, burdened, and anxious. Since God equips us for every duty that is ours, that subtle suffering should be a red flag for us. It was for me! I began to recognize that “oh no! can I really get that done?!” feeling. It was a signal to me that I was doing something that wasn’t mine to do.
Some of us may struggle with saying no. But, knowing that saying no opens the door to someone else getting to participate and thereby, learn a new lesson, or accomplish something they didn’t think they were even capable of doing, makes saying no much easier.
It also makes saying yes, seem like a subtle form of stealing. Now, I’m not saying that we can’t contribute in a busy way at times. But, if it’s extreme helpfulness and it’s taking you down, you can see it for what it is: not yours, but someone else’s opportunity.
So, to avoid breaking the commandment not to steal, always pay for your merchandise; by all means, use your blinkers; and do only what you’re sure is yours to do. Your days will be more content, peaceful and you’ll be keeping the great number 8!
I'm giving the 10 commandments a closer look by blogging about one of them each Friday. Scroll down for the last seven blogs on the topic.
Number seven is: Thou shalt not commit adultery.
On the surface, the 7th commandment is about faithful marriages. Like the 6th commandment not to kill, this one is pretty straightforward. So, if you are in a good marriage where both partners are faithful are you off the hook? Well…good for you on the great marriage! And we can always look a little deeper at this commandment.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the verb to adulterate as: “to corrupt, debase, or make impure by the addition of a foreign or inferior substance.”
A study of the Bible shows that the first chapter of Genesis presents man (man, woman, and child) as made in the image and likeness of God, Spirit, or Mind. It has to follow then, that man is completely spiritual, because God is completely spiritual. It may be an idea you’ve never considered. But if we start with an all good God, a creator that is Spirit and Mind, and understand that we are made in His likeness, we have to come to the conclusion that we must be spiritual ideas.
Some of you may be thinking, "yes, we WILL be spiritual someday, maybe after we die." But, there are two statements that have been helpful to me, and others, in pondering the great fact that we are spiritual beings right here and now, in spite of what the material senses are telling us.
Both passages are read at the end of the Sunday church service in all Christian Science branch churches and societies around the world. They are considered correlative statements, since they correspond to each other.
The first is referred to as the “Scientific Statement of Being” and is found in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Mary Baker Eddy writes: “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual” (p. 468).
The corresponding statement is from the Bible, 1 John 3:1-3. It says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (New King James version).
God loves us too much to have created us materially--out of a substance that is temporary, faulty, dying. The hopeful expectation that we will see our pure, spiritual substance right now, is the essence of a deeper concept of the 7th commandment. The leap of faith that consents to the fact that we, and everyone in the world today, is as spiritual right now as divine Spirit is, purifies us and it purifies our concept of others. This purification of thought is a prayer that shows us that, in reality, no substance or thought foreign to God exists. The one and only infinite God has commanded it.
So, let’s keep pondering the fact that we can’t adulterate ourselves, or others, with the belief that, as spiritual ideas, we can suddenly morph into matter-based beings, or even beings who are a mixture of matter and Spirit. By claiming our pure, spiritual nature we are rejecting any substance that is foreign and inferior to God, eternal Spirit.
Keeping the 7th commandment is knowing that our spiritual identity isn’t waiting for us somewhere else. It’s present right now for the seeing!
Do you ever think about the ten commandments as just an old-fashioned list of things you can’t do? A bunch of “thou shalt nots”? I'm giving the 10 commandments a closer look by blogging about one of them each Friday. Scroll down for the last six blogs on the topic.
Number six is: Thou shalt not kill. Well, if any commandment should be a "thou shalt not" it certainly should be this one! It should be obvious to everyone that killing someone is unacceptable--in any culture, in any walk of life, in any family, race, or creed. Killing isn't OK.
But, what about the more subtle ways of killing that we encounter each day?
Have you ever been in a meeting of any kind--parent-teacher meeting, volunteer committee meeting, church meeting, organizational project meeting, etc., and you propose a great idea you've been thinking about? In fact, you think it's the best solution around. It's just what the group you're working with needs and you're excited to share it! At the first silent moment in the discussion, you pipe up and make your suggestion. There's silence. Then someone shoots it right down. Boom! like a balloon shot with an arrow. You can feel the air going right out of you. They just killed your idea, and you're left feeling like they think you're clueless. Now, I'm not implying every idea is the greatest, but there are gentler ways of letting people down. That's when the Golden Rule comes to our aid. Among other things, the Golden Rule can save us from killing someone's inspiration.
If you're not familiar, Jesus gave us what is known as the Golden Rule when he said, "all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" (Matthew 7:12). Sometimes people phrase it as, "do unto others." Basically, you should treat others as you would like to be treated. For instance, wouldn't it have felt a lot better, if when your idea was shot down, that someone would have let you down easy? They wouldn't have needed to lie, but they could have told you how much they appreciated your thoughts on the project--that sort of thing. Next time you're in that same sort of meeting and someone else makes a suggestion, you can put that rule into play. You can decide not to kill their inspiration, excitement, joy of taking part, and sincerely thank them--whether or not the idea can be implemented.
How you treat yourself can also come into play with this commandment. We should be kind to ourselves. There is a difference between self-aggrandizement and self-appreciation. To me, this commandment could be reworded, "don't kill your individuality by degrading or pushing aside the great qualities that you express so well!"
I've written it before, and it really applies here: You are uniquely important to God, Life itself. You are the proof that Life is present, that He is acting, knowing, and being. In the study of Christian Science, Mind is also a synonym for God. Mind ponders you, and reflects on you as His loved idea. Appreciating your good spiritual qualities really translates into loving God, who created you. Just think: You are part of the completeness of God's good universe as divine Life's idea.
In short, we can keep the sixth commandment by appreciating the goodness, uniqueness, individuality, and liveliness of everyone, including us! Keep the spirit of not killing by seeing each individual in God's creation as the important and eternally active idea of divine Life!
Just four more commandments left. See you next week for number 7!
Do you ever think about the ten commandments as just an old-fashioned list of things you can’t do? A bunch of “thou shalt nots”? I'm giving the 10 commandments a closer look by blogging about one of them each Friday. Scroll down for the last five blogs on the topic.
Like the fourth commandment, the fifth is more of a reminder of what to do, rather than pointing out what not to do.
The fifth commandment is: Honor thy father and thy mother. Yes, we should be nice to our parents. Surely, that's on the surface of this commandment. But, I also like to look a little deeper than the surface by spiritualizing my concept of this commandment. When I do, I see it this way: Honor your Father-Mother God.
In the study of Christian Science, God is seen as our divine Parent--Father and Mother. In her spiritual translation of the Lord’s Prayer, Mrs. Eddy translates the first line, “Our Father which art in heaven,” as “Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 16).
So, the fifth commandment is meant to remind us to honor God in our everyday lives. Of course, how we choose to honor God is unique to each one of us.
One way that I like to honor our divine Parent, God, is to see God’s creation as He made it—complete and very good. (See Genesis 1:31, Genesis 2:1). That means, that each person we come in contact with has God’s approval as His spiritual and beloved son or daughter. I felt this very tangibly yesterday while walking my dog in the park. There is a homeless man who spends his afternoons in one of the city parks. This particular park is in one of the oldest parts of town and has lush grass, beautiful shade trees, lots of squirrels, and a very deep feeling of peace and calm.
As my dog and I were on a straight stretch of sidewalk, we met the man pushing his bike toward us. It was laden down with his worldly goods in plastic grocery sacks. I said hi to him and commented that it looked like he was carrying a lot of things with him. He told me that he really needed to find a place. He said he’d been to the organizations in town that provide assistance to the homeless community and hadn’t found anything.
But, even as he said that, I could feel such a sense of God’s love for him. I was quietly knowing that this man was God’s son and could never slip through the cracks or be without one good thing. As I was feeling that, he commented that he knew “the big guy” was watching over his shoulder. I assured him that I knew that was true, too, and because of that, I was sure there was a solution right at hand. He said he had no doubt of that. He also made comment that he was thankful for this beautiful park where he could sit and enjoy the day.
This isn’t the first time I’ve spoken to this man. Every time, it has been so apparent to me that his joy, kindness, and love for life, in spite of what appears to be less than ideal human conditions, are very present and are sustaining him day by day.
Of course, I’m keeping my eyes and ears open to see if there is anything else I can offer the man. But, for now, I know that recognizing his place in our divine Parent’s presence is honoring the man, and keeping the fifth commandment to honor the creator of all, his divine Father-Mother God.
Today, you can find your own unique way to honor our divine Parent. Whatever form that takes, be sure to pause...and send Her a prayer of gratitude for all the good in your life and in the world around you.
Do you ever think about the ten commandments as just an old-fashioned list of things you can’t do? A bunch of “thou shalt nots”? I'm giving the 10 commandments a closer look by blogging about one of them each Friday. Scroll down for the last four blogs on the topic.
The fourth commandment isn't a "shalt not" at all! It's more of a reminder: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
For most, the sabbath day is seen as a church going day; a day to worship God. Many people associate it with Sunday, although some denominations worship on different days of the week.
In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, sabbath is defined in part as a time of rest.
So, it seems to me, this commandment is less about a particular day of the week, or even a particular church you might attend. (As much as I really love attending church on Sunday mornings!) To me, this commandment is a reminder that we can take a rest every day from the stress and strain of believing that our life is just a bunch of material events—sometimes good, sometimes bad.
In reality, there isn’t even one day out of the week that our identity isn’t completely holy, created and maintained by God. We’re not really matter-based beings, living out a mortal existence on a roller coaster of material events. To find out who we really are, we have to start from the beginning.
God’s spiritual creation is described in the first chapter of the biblical book of Genesis. Right there on the sixth day it says that man, including male and female, was created in God’s own image. Since God is Spirit, it follows that man must be like Spirit—spiritual!
How does God view His complete, spiritual creation? “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished and all the hosts of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made” (Genesis 1:31, 2:1,2). I love to think of God, or divine Mind (a synonym for God) as delighting in His complete creation. He was satisfied with His work.
So, who are you, then? You are part of God’s spiritual, and very good creation, which has been permanently fixed throughout eternity, and with which God is perfectly satisfied—then and now. I know, it’s a big idea, but can’t you just feel the safety and comfort in that fact?
So, keep today and every day holy by taking a rest from the roller coaster of material life, and ponder the possibility that you are eternally God’s and safely held as a spiritual idea in divine Mind, or Spirit. It’s bound to perk up your day!
"Deity was satisfied with His work. How could He be otherwise, since the spiritual creation was the outgrowth, the emanation, of His infinite self-containment and immortal wisdom?" (Science and Health, p. 517).
I hope these insights will inspire readers to think more spiritually about themselves and the world around them!