“the truth shall make you free.”
–Jesus, John 8:32
“Truth brings the elements of liberty.”
–Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p.224
Freedom’s pretty important to us.
We’ve fought many wars in its name, written countless books about it, sung songs, and made movies (including the #1 movie right now). We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got our work cut out for us – there’s a lot of bonds out there to be torn away: sensualism shackles its practitioner to a false master, as well as fueling the horrors of sex slavery; the idea that somebody is not my brother bars me from the natural expression of brotherly love to him, but is also what allows discriminatory (literal) imprisonment of way too many young men in my country and others; selfishness constricts anybody that harbors it, and can motivate leaders to take away the people’s rights. We can see infringements of freedom in our own lives or in world events on the news.
When tyranny, literal or metaphorical, in our own lives or the world abroad, seems beyond us to rise above… where do we turn? Well, liberty is also a constant theme in the Bible: from Egypt to Rome, from false idols to plagues, there was always some bondage to be overcome. And the savior can always throw off that bondage. In her seminal work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy explained that the Christ, this message of Truth come to destroy error, best exemplified by Jesus, is what enabled folks from Moses to Paul, as well as herself, her students, and anyone, to cast off their bonds, by understanding their transience, by understanding the allness of God good. Indeed, she writes that the person trying to understand Christ
“has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good.”
Any and all apparent lack of freedom boils down to the simplest lie: that there is another power than God, divine Love. Uncovering this truth is liberation. This corrects sin, unshackling the sinner. It heals disease, unbinding her whom Satan hath bound. One big tyrannical lie is death, and the always-truth that Life is eternal overcomes that, too. Truth overcomes these things so efficaciously because they’re not real — they have no claim in our story of harmony and growth.
I say that like it’s easy — I’m still working on it… sure seems like I’m bound with some of these irons right now, in fact. But the scientific pursuit of this truth has liberated me from physiological and emotional manacles before, and I know that as I continue to grow in grace, more will drop away. And all the while I can help my brothers and sisters see the truth, and see healing in their lives. That experience is pretty great, and I highly recommend it.
So, this Sunday morning, we’ll be hearing a sermon from these two books — the Bible and Science and Health — about the unreality of sin, sickness, and death, and the freedom that is the corresponding reality of righteousness, health, life. There’ll also be a bit of lovely prayer and song accompanying it. We’ll be meeting at 687 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain @10:35am; won’t you join us? (We can be joined by phone at (605) 475-4000 x636128#.)
grant + jpchurch
PS: Here’s a cute little song that talks about how to see this freedom in your life: