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Wearing the Stars in the Crown of Rejoicing

"Christian Science and the senses are at war. It is a revolutionary struggle" (Mis 101:8). A false sense of civilization is dying out, and the truth that cannot die is being realized. Material substance, deterioration, and death are evidenced from without by the physical senses. Science and peace are recognized from within as the Mind of God.

When prophecy was about to be fulfilled, Jesus allowed men to kill the old civilization (physical body) with their own hands. Jesus hung on a cross, propped up by the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Suddenly, the cry rang out, "It is finished" (John 19:30). It is as if Jesus had said, 'The ape man presented by mortal mind is finished.' All the so-called laws of the sensual way of living are null and void: good and evil, happiness and sorrow, birth and death are eclipsed by divine light! Right there, in what seemed like his darkest hour, the commencement of a new epoch was dawning, for as John later recorded, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away" (Rev. 21:1).

The Messiah's appearance on earth, his nature, and his accomplishments were prophesied throughout the Old Testament and confirmed by living witnesses of his glorious career. For those disciples, that was enough, but Jesus saw beyond the fulfilment of his own prophecy. He perceived a necessary and natural progression of yet another "Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, . . . [that] shall teach you all things" (John 14:26). Jesus was not the first to prophesy its appearing. Isaiah intuitively coupled Christ and the Comforter in their proper sequence: chapter 53 contains essential elements of Jesus' experience, while chapter 54 includes distinct details of a woman wedded to God who would have a multitude of children - more than the married wife. This coupled relationship is also figured as two great lights, two olive branches, two candlesticks, etcetera. God's angel said, "I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth" (Rev 11:3).

Today, we can search Biblical prophecy and rejoice over those inspired individuals who walked through the open door of spiritual enlightenment to realize a new heaven and new earth, but we often stop short of realizing the all-inclusive nature of these prophecies. "His [Jesus'] mission was both individual and collective. He did life's work aright not only in justice to himself, but in mercy to mortals, - to show them how to do theirs, but not to do it for them nor to relieve them of a single responsibility" (SH 18:5). Prophecies are invitations from Soul that we must accept to fulfill our own destiny. When we do, the examination of our real Self commences. Completing each prophetic assignment, we break the barriers of time and sense and waken to realize a portion of our true identity and original birthright. When we are ready, we too can declare, 'It is finished' and pass triumphantly through the valley of the shadow of death into the holy city.

It is appropriate and necessary to be grateful for the two anointed ones, Christ and Christian Science; and for the appointed ones, Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy, who were so faithful to God's idea of them that they were able to share the results of their spiritual dedication and enlightenment with us. True gratitude for these witnesses, however, is only complete when every idea they introduced to the world is exalted through us. It is certain that the pattern of these prophecies was not just for them. We, too, must give up our most cherished beliefs and practices, lose our earth weights (material sense of body and place), and witness a new body and a new heaven right where the old one once stood. As we witness our own crucifixion - persecution for righteousness sake - we are sure of resurrection to millennial consciousness, which is the Comforter presence Jesus foresaw.

The translation from faith to spiritual understanding is best described in the twelfth chapter of Revelation: "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" (Rev 12:1). Each object describes a quality or condition of thought. The Woman symbolizes the highest form of Love's manifestation - Motherhood. This prototype figure is not clothed in a cloud or cloaked in mystery; she is a life-bright witness, ready to bring forth her conception of the man child - God's man in perfect harmony (heaven). This is what a lit candlestick looks like. She stands for both Principle and practice. Her thoughts radiate outward and upward, above material conditions and consequences. In the dark night of chaos, we are grateful for moonlight reflected from the sun, but when the Comforter dawns upon human consciousness, the dim outlines are put under foot. The moon under her feet has a double meaning: the woman has gained dominion over the dust-man of Adam's race by putting it under her feet, and she has adopted Christ's bedrock foundation as her footstool. She stands upon her faith in Christ to rule the long night of material sense.

Twelve stars encircle her mental heaven. Throughout Scripture, as voiced by the prophets, God has promised us an inheritance. Could this inheritance be figured as twelve stars? If so, each star represents a claimed inheritance. Here is a list of our inheritance as identified in the letters to the churches found in chapters 2 and 3 of Saint John's Revelation.

To him that overcometh will 'I' give
1. the tree of life;
2. a crown of life;
3. the hidden manna;
4. a white stone, and in the stone a new name written;
5. power over the nations;
6. the morning star;
7. white raiment;
8. his name not blotted out of the book of life but confessed before my Father and before his angels;
9. a pillar in the temple of my God;
10. the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem written upon him; and
11. my new name written upon him.
12. And "to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."

These are the gifts that are ready and available to us. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2). When we read these assuring words, our hearts well up in gratitude for the promise of the divine likeness to be imaged upon us. Then we relax and think that we have a lot to look forward to, but the rushing mighty wind exclaims, 'NO, NO, do not wait. Claim your inheritance now and here!' To wear the crown of rejoicing is to see Him as He is - to have dominion over all the woes suffered by the twelve tribes of Israel and of all men in their pursuit of the promised land. Be totally committed, and the promised land - a wholly spiritual state of dominion consciousness - can crown you with heavenly views now.

Jesus said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). The implication is that 'I have overcome matter, sense, and material law; now it is your turn to prove what I taught you!'

Mrs. Eddy said that the last drawing in her Christ and Christmas book illustrated the ascension. "The Way" is a visual metaphor of man's revolutionary transformation from physical pain and pleasure up to the crown of glory. The desire for and confirmation of further enlightenment draws us irrevocably to Spirit. Utter humility draws us to the foot of the cross, and Christ-likeness is the straight and narrow way.

Rejoice! Beyond earth's turbulent mental climate, we win and wear the stars in the crown of rejoicing!

George Denninger

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