For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
King James Version (KJV)
Emergence International welcomes Richard Davenport as the upcoming 2014 Keynote Speaker in Sacramento, California. Dick is a former teacher at the Principia Upper School, and former dean of men at Principia College.
He has two decades of training and experience on three continents where he represented The Mother Church as a Chaplain in the U.S. Air force.
Dick is also the ED of Bible Study Seminars and an active church member of First Church Brentwood, Mo. He is also a member of The Mother Church and a devoted student of Christian Science.
To learn more on the upcoming conference (October 3-5, 2014) and for contact information click on the link below.
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From the December 1963 issue of The Christian Science Journal
According to the teachings of Christian Science, each one of us lives in God’s infinite universe of ever-unfolding good, a universe filled with countless spiritual ideas. Even a slight understanding of this spiritual fact dispels loneliness and grief. Upon this spiritual perception rests the demonstration of true companionship.
Loneliness is, of course, purely mental, a state of mortal thought. One can be satisfied in solitude, or, contrariwise, walk with an empty heart in the midst of a crowded city. Near the close of his ministry, Christ Jesus indicated that the time was near when his disciples would be scattered and would leave him alone. But he said (John 16:32), “I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”
In the presence of God one is never alone, for where Life, or God, is, there are teeming activity and infinite abundance. The great need of every desolate and empty heart is to discern spiritually the presence of eternal Life and Love.
It is the increasing perception of the spiritual identity and divine nature of our fellow beings that truly unites us and demonstrates true companionship. It is our belief that companionship is purely human that brings loneliness and grief. Mrs. Eddy writes in Miscellany (p. 167), “The suppositional world within us separates us from the spiritual world, which is apart from matter, and unites us to one another.”
To relinquish in thought a personal sense of things and to lift consciousness into an understanding of the eternal verities of Love bring to human experience an ever-increasing demonstration of true companionship. The God-inspired realization that every loving and unselfed motive, thought, or feeling has its rightful expression ensures the unfolding of right human footsteps, impelled by that Love which meets every human need. And these spiritually directed footsteps of ascending thought lead ever upward.
As we pass among our fellow beings in our daily walk along the road of seemingly mortal living, of what are we aware? A limited personal sense of people and things or the true companionship of God’s ideas, shining through the concealing cloak of human personality? Increasing awareness of the spiritual universe of God’s creating destroys the dream shadows of loneliness, separation, or personal loss.
A sincere student of Christian Science once found that although leading a full and active human life, he was experiencing a sense of personal loneliness. He recognized that his difficulty was not a claim of the lack of human companionship but the claim of separation from God’s love and goodness. He knew too that any sense of loss or separation from good had to involve a prior sense of personal possession.
Then he began to examine his own concept of all his personal relationships. Through study and earnest prayer, he found himself able gradually to lay aside the false sense of personal possession of goodness and companionship. His problem completely faded away, and his life was enriched, both spiritually and humanly, with a deeper and more satisfying expression of love and companionship.
Nothing that God requires of us can ever run counter to the goodness and purity of His law, to the heavenly intent that illumines every path on which He leads us. Yet, in the anguish of earth’s deeper lessons, we sometimes fail to see the bright shining of Love’s purpose piercing the shadows and the gloom. Forward spiritual footsteps, however, inevitably lead us into the increasing recognition that we are companioning with spiritual thoughts, God’s angels. They lead us into the unity of good, for the pattern of our being, truly seen, is in harmony with all that truly exists.
A right sense of human companionship enriches our experience. But to seek to dispel loneliness or loss through merely human companionship is to work in vain, for it is divine Love alone that meets our human needs. Any attempt to work out a healing of loneliness by a juggling of human affairs is to put the cart before the horse. First, we must seek Love’s richness, goodness, and direction; we must behold to some degree “the spiritual world,” which “unites us to one another.” Then will the divine afflatus become a compelling law in our earthly experience, and harmonious and satisfying human relationships, an ever-unfolding demonstration of true companionship for each of us, will inevitably follow.
Almost all of us walk daily among our fellow beings. Are we demonstrating true companionship in the minutiae of our daily living? Are we expressing it to others? Do we feel the nearness of God sufficiently to bring the presence and true companionship of the Christ into our daily living and, thus, truly to walk with God? This is where we all must start if we would demonstrate the companionship that satisfies.
God’s law maintains His children, not in isolation but in everlasting harmony and love. And this law, operating in human experience, brings individuals together for their mutual blessing and benefit. An unhappy human relationship is like the unfolding of a flower which has momentarily ceased but which waits only the true impulsion, the touch of Spirit, to blossom into living glory.
As the power of God increasingly governs our lives, our human companionships will grow progressively more beautiful; and the love of God will bring into our lives only those who can bless and be blessed as they fulfill His holy purpose of unfolding good.
Writing in words that hint of the grand and glorious companionships that lie before us spiritually, Mrs. Eddy tells us (Science and Health, p. 513), “Advancing spiritual steps in the teeming universe of Mind lead on to spiritual spheres and exalted beings.” The road we walk is never a lonely one, but it is thronged with companions who are likewise emerging from a material sense of existence and are rejoicing in the freedom that spiritual sense makes possible.