Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Best Gift Ever

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Best Gift Ever

Article excerpt

It wasn't on a wish list. But, like any gift from someone who knows and loves the recipient, it was a perfect match. The gift I'm talking about is probably the first ever given. It's what God has bestowed on His creation, His sons and daughters: dominion (see Gen. 1:26).

Today, the term "dominion" can have a bad rap. It's been interpreted as harsh or unfeeling personal control over other people, over animals, or over the environment. But real dominion, flowing as it does from an all-loving God, is benevolent, compassionate, and tender. It is power that blesses all it touches.

From early stories of Moses, David, and Daniel up to the present, prayerful men and women have used spiritual power to heal and save. In the Scriptures alone, the list of problems overcome is impressive: hunger, poverty, homelessness, slavery, wrongdoing, political intrigue, imminent dangers, life-threatening ailments, mental illness, death. Viewed as a whole, this record of dominion over adversity is encouraging, even galvanizing, especially when we face challenges in our own lives.

Can we hope to replicate this kind of healing? Absolutely. For how-to instructions in wielding spiritual strength, nothing equals Jesus' counsel. For example: "With God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26); "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21); "These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; ... they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17, 18). Jesus confirmed his words by conquering every challenge to his divinely bestowed ability to heal.

But Jesus' life added up to so much more than a series of miracles with accompanying commentary. His God-impelled mission was to make clear that dominion is ours to use for good - that it's the practical proof of God's goodness and ever-presence in our lives.

Two thousand years after Jesus, theological student and writer Mary Baker Eddy explained in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" just how universal Jesus' teachings are: "His mission was both individual and collective. …

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