Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor
War Zones and the Kingdom of Heaven Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to World Events and Daily Life
I HEARD a news broadcast that said a much-prayed-for cease-fire in one particular country was not holding at that moment. I thought I should pray about it. But how? The United Nations had requested the world's prayers for peace there. I felt sure that those prayers had brought the warring factions as far as they had already come toward a settlement. Continued prayer, I was-and still am-sure, can lead to resolution of conflict there and in other so-called hot-spots of the world.
In this case, it came to me that there wasn't a kingdom of heaven and another country; in other words, there wasn't someplace left outside of God. I began thinking of the many parables, or stories, that Christ Jesus told to illustrate the nature of the kingdom of heaven. He taught that the kingdom includes everything true and real. And that repentance and forgiveness are components of the kingdom of heaven. But ingratitude, revenge, self-righteousness, and the like have no place in the universe that God created.
The Founder of the Christian Science Church wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind in which all the manifestations of Mind are harmonious and immortal, because sin is not there and man is found having no righteousness of his own, but in possession of 'the mind of the Lord,' as the Scripture says" (p. 291). These are the words of Mary Baker Eddy.
This kingdom of heaven can, and must, eventually be reflected in all the war zones of the world. No sin or hate can interfere with the process of peace.
One of Jesus' parables says, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it" (Matthew 13:45-46). Your prayer and my prayer will help others, especially those who have glimpsed a peace that is more than just absence of gunfire. Prayer will enable warring factions to make the necessary sacrifices to gain peace. …