A perspective on “Living Eternal Life”

By Brian Stock

This year’s Fern Lodge annual meeting will consider the topic, “Living Eternal Life.”  We invite our readers to prayerfully consider this idea with us.  At the conclusion of the Passover meal, Jesus lifted up his eyes in prayer towards heaven and said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” [John 17:3, emphasis added].

Jesus said this knowing that soon he must pass through the experience that humanity called death.  But in the midst of human betrayal and tragedy came this clear message of the eternality of life.  Here Jesus links eternal life with the idea of knowing God and Jesus Christ.  The 1913 version of Webster says that to “know” is “to perceive or apprehend clearly and certainly; to understand; to have full information of; as, to know one’s duty.”  To understand our eternal Life, we must actively “know” God.

As Christian Scientists we have six tenets that are primary to our understanding of God and Jesus Christ (see Science and Health page 497).  The fifth tenet states:  “We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter” [emphasis added].

As we approach the Easter season, it is great to recall that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus were to uplift our faith.  It is a joyous time for us to perceive the eternality of life as was proven by Christ Jesus’ demonstration over the grave at the morning meal with his disciples.  We can perceive the understanding of Life daily in our experience.  But merely continuing existence in matter does not lead to eternal Life, which the material senses never can behold.   God’s eternal demand on His creation is to understand Life and the infinite manifestation of His Being.  We can perceive this manifestation of Life in acts of compassion, or a new perception of truth, or a flower.  We invite you to consider with us this passage from Miscellaneous Writings, page 179:

“What is it that seems a stone between us and the resurrection morning?

It is the belief of mind in matter. We can only come into the spiritual resurrection by quitting the old consciousness of Soul in sense.

These flowers are floral apostles. God does all this through His followers; and He made every flower in Mind before it sprang from the earth: yet we look into matter and the earth to give us these smiles of God!

We must lay aside material consciousness, and then we can perceive Truth, and say with Mary, “Rabboni!” — Master!

In 1866, when God revealed to me this risen Christ, this Life that knows no death, that saith, “Because he lives, I live,” I awoke from the dream of Spirit in the flesh so far as to take the side of Spirit, and strive to cease my warfare.”



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