For 79 years Christian healing has been my way of taking care of problems, including anything physical. When learning that I was a student of Christian Science, a new acquaintance said to me, “So, how’s that working for you?!–good luck with THAT!” The sarcastic tone was not missed. Nor was it news to me that many people do not understand it. (By the way, it has nothing to do with Scientology!) Some view it as ludicrous without knowing what it really is (If you want an objective, scholarly read on Christian Science, I recommend Voorhees’ A New Christian Identity: Christian Science Origins and Experience in American Culture, The University of North Carolina Press, 2021). I wonder if several thousand years ago those opposed to Christian healing had been among the blind, the lame, and the dumb as Jesus healed them would they have criticized his radical practice, or, would they not rather have sought to learn Christ’s method of healing?
Today we may seem far removed from Jesus’ healing, but we aren’t. He left us specific teachings, indicating that in following his instruction we could do “greater works” than his: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…”(John 14:12). Now, there’s something to think about!
Among Christians we often hear the word “believe,” as if belief alone were sufficient to make one Christian or Christly. But Jesus asked much more of us than mere belief. His Sermon on the Mount (Mathew 5, 6, 7), considered his most complete teachings, tells us what we need to do to follow him, to be Christian, to be what God created us to be: His image and likeness. (“God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1: 27).
Pondering things I’d like to see healed, it came to me to dig deeper into Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, to glean new insights. Jesus’ instruction begins with the “beatitudes,” which many Sunday School pupils learn: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”…”Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”…”Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” . . . “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”–and more. Jesus goes on to say we are the light of the world and should let our light shine through good works which glorify God. It is in this sermon we’re told to “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.” It is here, too, that he tells us how to pray, giving us the “Lord’s prayer.” So much more he teaches in this important text, if only we will take the time to read and study it. In just three chapters Jesus shows us how to be happy, how to behave, how to overcome adversity, how to be a better person, how to lead a good and healthful life.
The topic of healing seems infinite! Whatever crumbs I’ve learned will likely spill into future postings as some did in prior ones. Putting into practice whatever little we understand of Christ Jesus’ powerful sermon prepares us to experience the light of healing–a light that is more than mere physical and mental renewal; it is a divine light that cannot be extinguished.
Artwork: I love the serenity, energy, transparency of this piece which suggests light–something we all seek.