DOES religion need an ultimate goal?
In a wedding ceremony I attended a week ago, I was asked by an old high school friend about my faith. I mentioned to him that I am a Christian Scientist. He was not familiar with Christian Science, so I shared some simple ideas. To my amazement, he asked, “What is your religion’s ultimate goal?”
I was caught unaware. I did not even know what to say. And in humility, I told my friend that I really had no answer at that moment, but I would surely email him, once I got the answer.
As I pondered on my friend’s inquiry, these verses from the Book of Matthew in the Holy Bible came to thought. A lawyer, testing Jesus on practicing his religion, asked:
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment. (22: 36-38)
To me, Jesus’ reply summed up the value of commitment to a religion that is not merely doctrinal or intellectual but a religion that leads us to love God supremely. This love is more than personal. It is selfless, practical, beneficial and ready to embrace everyone.
As a practicing Christian Scientist, I continually alert myself not to judge anyone with regard to their faith. I have to admit that sometimes it’s tempting to argue, or correct someone’s standpoint when it comes to religion. But rather than arguing, I respect others’ faith, quietly pray, and continually share with anyone I meet the love I am experiencing from God through obeying the First Commandment and studying its practical application by studying Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and the founder of the world-renowned newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, wrote, “The First Commandment (“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus xx. 3.) is my favorite text. It demonstrates Christian Science.”
She further explained the practical results of obeying and loving God supremely. She wrote, “The divine Principle of the First Commandment bases the Science of being, by which man demonstrates health, holiness, and life eternal. One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, “Love thy neighbor as thyself;” annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry,?—?whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed. (340:31)
Does your religion have an ultimate goal?
YES, but it’s no longer something in the future. Rather it’s a moment by moment mission to see my neighbours, government and the whole of humanity as always under the care of our loving Father God. What a great healing mission each of us is capable of knowing and performing.
Originally published in Sun Star Philippines, @sunstaronline