Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Calming the Earth

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Calming the Earth

Article excerpt

It's a tumultuous place, the earth. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, volcanoes, and tidal waves often dominate the news.

Such events used to be widely thought of as expressions of divine retribution for human sins. Today, they're generally seen as naturally occurring phenomena that increasingly can be predicted.

Of course, forecasting storms and seismic events does not prevent them. And so titanic are the forces of nature, that physical attempts to dissipate a big hurricane could be likened to throwing a firecracker at a thunderstorm.

Yet, 2,000 years ago, Christ is said to have stilled a life- threatening storm, and actually to have walked on a stormy sea (see Matt. 8:26 and 14:25). Do we have something practical to learn from this humble man about calming the earth?

Apparently. He seems to have understood something profound about force and law that is not generally known today. If humankind is to prevent natural disasters, perhaps Jesus' method of mastering the elements of nature will one day need to be more widely recognized and studied. If so - and even if that result is many years off - it is hardly too soon to consider his solution to destructive forces.

"The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works," he insisted (John 14:10). A fundamental tenet of Jesus' lifework is that he attributed all that he did to God, not to himself. He apparently accepted without reservation that God is good, is omnipotent - and that we are blessed by God, not punished. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," he said, echoing the first chapter of Genesis (see Matt. 5:48; Gen. 1:26, 27).

He approached every issue from a theological, not a material, base. He boiled it all down to thought rather than physics. When he healed diseases, he showed control over matter. Though he never condemned sick people, he saw disease as the effect of mistaken, ungodlike concepts rather than physical laws. His first public message to humanity was "Repent {"change your thought"}: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17).

Some say his healings and storm-stillings amounted to an anomaly, never to be repeated. …

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