The Most Important Promise on Earth
by Mark Swinney, CSB
A Synopsis of “The Christmas Message”*
a Christian Science Lecture given by Mr. Swinney on December 23, 2014
The Most Important Promise on Earth
by Mark Swinney, CSB
Before ascending, Jesus said, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth.” And then he promised, “I will not leave you comfortless” (John 14:16-18).
If you’re feeling comfortless, you have every right to turn to this Comforter that Jesus promised to you. This “Spirit of truth” that Jesus calls the Comforter describes well what God’s presence and help feels like. Yes, it is something very, very special.
“The Spirit of truth” comforts because it is the Christ, the tangible evidence of God in your thought, which reveals to you, to put it simply, reality. It is the tender, yet powerful divine influence that heals, cleanses, and transforms your thought, thereby healing, cleansing, and transforming you and everything that you experience. This comforting “Spirit of truth” that is the Christ existed prior to Jesus’ appearance on earth. It always has existed, in fact, for everyone and, in your past, even if you weren’t aware of it, you probably have drawn upon it.
Speaking of the spirit which Jesus possessed, practiced, and taught, Mary Baker Eddy explains, “This spirit of God is made manifest in the flesh, healing and saving men,—it is the Christ, Comforter, ‘which taketh away the sin of the world’“(Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 9).
There are several important aspects about the Christ that matter to you and every last person on earth on a very deep level. The Christ is what Jesus represented and we’ll go deeply into how it comforts and heals. One thing that we should get out into the open right from the start is that the Comforter’s purpose is not to make you comfortable in matter. Real comfort is knowing truth—the truth of who you are spiritually as God made you here and now, today. What Jesus promised is a Comforter that, as Mary Baker Eddy put it, will lead you into all truth. This goes way beyond matter and its promises.
Christian Science teaches that physical illness, lack, injury, and injustice are no part of God and no part of you, because the real you exists as God’s outcome and expression. Prayer is to turn to God and draw upon the “Spirit of truth,” as Jesus called it in his promise, in order to rise above a fear of illness, lack, injury, and injustice, and thereby experience healing and reformation. As I mentioned at the beginning, “Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it.”
What brings us into harmony with the Science of being? The comforting Christ. The promised Comforter—this intelligence, love, and power of God that Jesus drew upon—you and I may draw upon today. Many people, including me, believe that this healing, comforting influence of the Christ is the most important thing in all of human history. Jesus made a career of drawing upon the Christ, and that is why he has the unique title, Christ Jesus. To quote him, he said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:10, 12).
Think of the Christ as “the true idea of God” (Science and Health, p. 54). The true idea goes beyond human opinions. Human opinions about you may or may not be correct. The Christ helps us go above and beyond opinion to the actual, unchanging truth of what God is and who you are as the outcome of God.
Christ is God’s—divine Truth’s—natural outcome or expression. Expression means, among other things, communication. As expression, the comforting Christ is seen in your life as God’s communication to you. These comforting messages come in different ways. They may be about how God loves you, knows you, how He guides and takes care of you, about how He keeps you spiritual and perfect. You don’t have to be some sort of metaphysical expert to respond joyfully and wholeheartedly to God.
The comforting Christ presents to your thought the image of God, who is the ideal, spiritual you. Ideal means perfect model. That ideal, Christly you, is you exactly as God knows you. You know, you aren’t trying to become the ideal expression of God. No, you’re not a limited, unimportant mortal; you are, by your very nature, already the Christly creation of Spirit! Along with Jesus, you and I can say with confidence, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).
One main point that I want to make for all of you is that, with Mary Baker Eddy’s discovery of Christian Science, Jesus’ promise of “another Comforter” has been fulfilled. The Comforter, as you’ve seen, is God’s active law of good effectively healing sickness and annihilating sin. Just as healing sickness and sin authenticated Jesus’ mission as the promised Savior, this same kind of healing made possible through Christian Science is evidence of its role as the Comforter today. Don’t think of Christian Science as one religion among thousands. Think of it as everyone’s possession, bringing light to every perspective.
It’s encouraging for me to recognize that, without even a single exception, every one of Jesus’ prayers was answered. Can you imagine what it must have been like for the woman who’d had what the Bible describes as an issue of blood for twelve years, to suddenly find herself free and healthy? What was it like to then look into Jesus’ eyes for the first time? Jesus said to her, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace” (Luke 8:48).
No doubt, to be the object of Jesus’ prayer would have been a great privilege and honor. Actually, it still is. While you and I didn’t live in Judea two thousand years back, we still are the beneficiaries of Jesus’ prayers for us. It’s astounding to think about but his prayer is a promise to you personally: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16).
Forever means just that—forever. Not 200 years. Not 500 years. Not 10,000 years. Forever. It is so wonderful to recognize the fact that if Jesus prayed that this Comforter would abide with us forever, then it will. God, the Shepherd, doesn’t ever transfer His responsibilities to His sheep. The obligation to maintain the spiritual goodness in this world—the Comforter—is always God’s.
Jesus said, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). This special power is the Christ, and it’s all yours! You’ll discover it clearly in the Bible and Science and Health, and then you have the privilege of bringing the words you read into action, seen in your enlightened outlook and overall attitude.
Could you picture yourself standing there in front of Jesus as “he called his twelve disciples together, and sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick”? (Luke 9:1,2). Right after that, he sent an additional 70 to do this work. What if you were there among them? From hearing Jesus’ speak to you like that, you would humbly realize that this was the most important work to be done on earth. I believe that, today, it remains the pinnacle of importance. To do it, we have been given the most effective tool in existence—Christian Science, the promised Comforter. For healing, the Christ is what Jesus relied upon 100% of the time. As inhabitants of this little planet, if all that we accomplish is to follow Jesus’ example in doing the same, we will be successful beyond our most ambitious dreams.
© Mark Swinney. All rights reserved.