When reading in Science and Health (p 566.1) the story of the children of Israel’s walk through the Red Sea I was arrested by Mrs Eddy’s words “guided triumphantly” A dictionary defines ‘triumphantly” as “in a way that shows great happiness or joy at a victory or achievement,”
Like Ukraine, the picture must have been daunting and hopeless for the children of Israel. It was one thing to have seen God open the Red Sea, but they needed indomitable trust to know they could reach the other side.
Mrs Eddy writes further: “so shall the spiritual idea guide all right desires on their passage from sense to Soul.”
In whatever the Ukraine people are enduring, we can know that “being triumphant” is a state of victory which God has already spiritually bestowed on them and it can never be wrenched from them.
Firstly, a hymn I have been working with that I feel brings comfort and reassurance to all who are struggling with the uncertainty and fear that change can bring - No.148:
In heavenly Love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?
Wherever He may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh,
And I will walk with Him.
Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I hv not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o’er me,
Where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure,
My path in life is free;
My Father has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.
By Anna L. Waring
There is a most interesting article in the 25th April issue of the Christian Science Sentinel by Josh Niles, which can be read or listened to, entitled Prayer's immediate impact
Josh Niles served in the military in the early 2000s in the middle of a tumultuous war so can share his own experience and practice of dealing with situations as they arose.
It shows how the prayers of each of us can make an effective difference. The following excerpt may be helpful:
Prayer along this line isn’t about trying to bring someone into alignment with how we see things; instead, it recognizes that every heart is actually naturally receptive to and oriented toward God, good, because we are each the expression of God. And we can stand firm in the understanding that nothing can prevent each person from seeing this.
This kind of prayer can specifically challenge and break down the false concept that a person or a group of people has fallen into mental darkness and cannot help but strike out. That’s an old lie, and although it may seem to get aggravated when its deception is being destroyed, it can’t stand up to the light of Truth or divine Love reaching every consciousness.
Spiritual sense can inspire a right decision that brings safety and peace to that moment.
From this week’s Responsive Reading- Psalm 27:5
“‘For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’
For me this verse linked nicely with these sentences from Miscellaneous Writings page 263:8
‘ How blessed it is to think of you as ‘beneath the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,’ safe in His strength, building on His foundation, and covered from the devourer by divine protection and affection.
Always bear in mind that His presence, power and peace meet all human needs and reflect all bliss.’
'O side with God, and win!'
This week I have been working with verse 3 of Hymn 99
“He gives His angels charge o’er thee,
No evil therefore shalt though see;
Thy refuge shall be God most high;
Dwelling within His secret place,
Thou shalt behold His power and grace,
See His salvation ever nigh.’
I find this hymn and particularly this verse a wonderful anchor about where everyone in the Ukraine, regardless of nationality are dwelling. I love too how this hymn is based on the 91st Psalm which is such a bedrock at this time.
A poem that came to me while I was praying for peace in that part of the world.
It is called: "One God - One World"
How can the world be torn apart
With God creating from the start?
One God, One World, one Life, one Mind:
This is the truth for all mankind.
How can the world divided be
With only good to know and see?
Old and young in ageless life,
dispel all friction and all strife.
Soul's full abundance ever brings
True happiness that laughs and sings,
Where all just love with tender care,
in every place and every where.
And how can nations be at war
Where all are governed by one law:
For God created land and sea
for all to live in harmony.
So let's accept this world of peace,
For this is where all conflicts cease;
Where all can live in harmony
In joyous life unlocked and free.
One God, One World, One Life, One Mind,
This is the truth for all mankind.
Loving Rosemary Cobham’s poem in hymn 497 when thinking about all the dear Ukrainian families needing homes.
Home is the consciousness of good
That holds us in its wide embrace;
The steady light that comforts us
In every path our footsteps trace.
Our Father’s house has many rooms,
And each with peace and love imbued;
No child can ever stray beyond
The compass of infinitude.
Home is the Father’s sweet “Well done,”
God’s daily, hourly gift of grace.
We go to meet our neighbour’s need,
And find our home in every place.
An online listener's contribution: 'O side with God, and win!'
I have started looking through “Christian Science Wartime Activities 1939-46”. And at the beginning of the chapter “British Shepherds of the Flock” from Ezekiel 34: “As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day . . . . I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick”.
Today I keep being drawn to the idea to love all the world leaders involved in this, including the Russians - to separate the evil from the person. This is a big ask but ego, personal sense, self-will, personal power are no part of God’s man. It’s evil that needs to be defeated and not a person or persons. Mrs Eddy says “The only power of evil is to destroy itself.” I am also working to see that all men express the Godlike qualities of compassion, wisdom, foresight and humility to find a peaceful outcome to this.
The idea that I have been praying with is based on page 476:28.
“When speaking of God’s children, not the children of me, Jesus said, ’The kingdom of God is within you;’ that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man…’
Truth and Love are what is reigning in each of God’s children whether they are soldiers, leaders or civilians. Therefore, there can’t be a reign of say terror, fear, uncertainty, cruelty or anything else that isn’t an expression of Truth and Love.
I found this SPIRITVIEW message from Evan Mehlenbacher very helpful when praying about Ukraine
This morning I have been thinking about the conflict in Ukraine and praying with hymn 236. I am struck by the reference to the 'Bethlehem star'.
The image of the star is not just for Christmas! This star of Love and peace is permanently shining brightly for everyone, everywhere.
Let's know in our prayers that this Christ light is for all humanity; governing and guiding the actions of all God's children.
As we pray for peace in Ukraine, it’s hard sometimes to know how effective our prayers really are during these challenging times. As our prayerful thoughts encompass the people of Ukraine, one wonders if they are feeling this support... if they are feeling tucked up in the Father’s loving embrace? As I was pondering the matter, I received an email from a friend, who shared a remarkable account of a Russian poet who had experienced terrible deprivations in a Soviet prison. In many ways, this woman’s account is tangible proof that our prayers ARE effective, and they will reach and touch those dear ones who are in such dire straits in Ukraine. The following was written by Irina Ratushinskaya, a Russian poet, who in the mid-80s was allowed to emigrate after four years in Soviet prisons (and I quote): “I knew that there was support for me in the West by a process of deduction: the more the authorities try to convince you that everyone has forgotten all about you, the more support that means you are getting from outside. So I had reason to believe that I had a lot of support. Even so, it was not until I got out of prison, and then out of the USSR, that I realised just how enormous that support was. But even apart from that, while I was still in the camp, we all – my fellow prisoners and I – were frequently aware, actually physically aware, of the support of prayer. It is very hard to explain, it sounds very mystical, but we all, at varying times, felt what could be described as an active flow of strength, a sort of warmth; and bearing in mind the icy conditions of punishment cells, this warmth could only have been the force of prayer, sustaining and protecting us.” (end of quote). Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, “The ‘still, small voice’ of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound. The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, ‘as when a lion roareth’. It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear”
I found this wonderful article in the Collections pamphlet on JSH
GOD'S ELECT By JULIA M. JOHNSTON
From the July 1933 issue of The Christian Science Journal
It is imperative today that we recognize the power of the Christ at work where human thought collectively is striving with problems. If we have believed that error can govern a group of people, how much more vividly should we become aware that the Christ, Truth, can control it. Let us specifically apply this scientific fact to a legislative body. Such a body is composed of people elected or appointed to enact certain laws. Sometimes it seems as though such a group becomes the instrument of discordant elements.
When a Christian Scientist becomes aware of such a condition, whether or not he is a member of the legislative body, it is his privilege to know the truth about the situation; and the truth is that the Christ, or true idea, is present to govern the situation. The Christ-idea is the master, because it is the representative of the Ruler of the universe. Thus, actually, Truth alone has real power in human affairs. The Christ-influence is incorruptible, and its activity is irresistible. The term of service of the Christ is forever; it can never be removed from its saving office. The Christ uncovers, thwarts, and annihilates every false belief. With divine tenderness and majesty, it saves humanity from error.
Christ is active in its saving mission everywhere. There is no secret chamber of deliberations where its influence is not present. Though councils are called to foment war, the Christ is there, a commanding influence before which the sin of conflict must lose its false aspect of glory, and vanish. Where there may be groups working to overthrow the foundations of Christian civilization, in their very midst is the ever-presence of the Christ. This presence cannot be banished, and it expels the sense of treason, treachery, and anarchy. Where so-called mortal minds would plot criminal offenses, there is the Christ compelling evil beliefs to fail, utterly to depart from human consciousness. Even where masses seem to be enslaved by ignorance, the Christ, greater than collective ignorance, is present and powerful to enlighten and redeem the individual and the multitude. To the Christ there is only "the secret place of the most High," where evil has neither place nor cover, and where the will of God is being done.
The other night when thinking about all the challenges Ukraine is facing.
The thought came to me like this "well you have so little faith yourself, what good is that going to do"?
And then these two words filled my consciousness, 'GOD FAITHFULLY' God never stops being God, it doesn't matter if we are feeling totally inadequate to pray for the world, God is constantly BEING God.!
This article in The Christian Science Monitor by Josh Niles (2nd Reader at the Mother Church) is SO helpful with Ukraine in mind....all the more insightful because Josh saw active service in the military in the early 2000s.
Listening to a recent testimony which mentioned The Panoply of Love reminded me of John Tyler’s Daily Lift in which he said that he had discovered that panoply is the same word in German as tank, so for the last week I have been thinking about the tanks of Love and that the residents and soldiers are in these tanks absolutely protected. “Cared for, watched over beloved and protected” in the tanks of Love.
And our church is a tank of Love too. And that theatre is a tank of Love.
Also struck by the imagery in the lesson of iron - hardened thinking - and the rock of truth prevailing against this.
Hymn 502 I have be praying with this hymn at home recently but love the idea of Father Mother hood for the world too 🌻
This morning I was looking at Rosemary Cobham’s poem “ Countdown to Sunrise” and I was struck by the expression “ cradled in eternity”. I found myself acknowledging this when thinking about the children killed in the bombing. They are safe and loved and cradled in eternity.
I have been thinking about people losing their houses. I find this verse from II Chronicles very absolute “But I have built an house of habitation for thee and a place for thy dwelling for ever” All those refugees can find a spiritual home and feel secure wherever they have to go.
I am sure you have seen this article by Ann Kendrick ( Journal 2019 January)
This prayer came to thought today “The immortality of God’s Christ demolishes the mortality of inhumanity.”