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Finding the One That Was Never Lost

  What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (Luke 15:4).
Jesus' parable refers to the way Christ pursues each one of us, probing the wilderness of our stubborn beliefs until every mistake is abandoned and the truth of our being is found to be God.

When we venture out with our own agenda, Christ is lost to us, for we cannot indulge in the blast of egotism and hear our Shepherd's voice at the same time. Jesus reprimanded the church in Ephesus for forgetting their first love - the primal enlightenment that enabled them to humbly follow Love's lead. If we leave Love, we certainly are lost in the wilderness. Was spiritual cause lost to its effect when we chose to break away, or wander away, from our spiritual connection? No! "Love never loses site of loveliness" (SH 248:3).

Adam's race has separated itself from truth in order to try its luck in the fantasyland of limitations. This journey in the wilderness is doomed to fail because it is impossible for matter to become causative. Suffering the dire consequences of his mistakes and insisting on a material solution, this kind of man seeks a material way to reconnect with the Shepherd. Not understanding Christ's nature, he waits for a physical Jesus to return and save him. Did Christ take a leave of absence? No. Christ never left. "Spiritual development germinates not from seed sown in the soil of material hopes, but when these decay, Love propagates anew the higher joys of Spirit, which have no taint of earth" (SH 66:11). It is not only possible to regain one's spiritual insight, it is inevitable! The Shepherd abides with his lost sheep through their wilderness experiences until they remember their spiritual origin and virgin purity. "Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none" (John 18:9).

Here are a few encouraging success stories.

"Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Gen 5:24). Enoch translated Adam's false sense of earth to the harmony of heaven, leaving no trace of matter behind. He had found the Way.

Abram stayed close to his one true guide and followed "not knowing whither he went." After ninety-nine years of faithful obedience, God assured him of his perfection. Hearing this, his name was changed to Abraham - a father of nations, a magnifier of spiritual ideas gathered together.

Moses heard the Lord in a burning bush that was not consumed - alive with light without the necessity of returning to dust. He found his identity as Godlikeness, "I AM THAT I AM" (Ex 3:14). After reuniting with the Shepherd of Israel, Moses freed his enslaved brethren from their shackles in Egypt and refocused their attention on their first love, even writing God's law in stone as a constant reminder of His proximity and power.

The pure in heart see God. Mary's spiritual insight, that God is the only author of man, brought Christ into view and presented Jesus as clear evidence of man's inseparable connection to eternal Life. He declared, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30).

The Science of Christ has now been delivered to mankind as a full-orbed appearing. Mary Baker Eddy's life mission was to discover, explain, and demonstrate man's Godlikeness. She restored the idea of man to its rightful place, moving at the impulse of divine Love and understanding the purpose and function of every move.

Divine Love surrounds and embraces its own ideas. "It is Love which paints the petal with myriad hues, glances in the warm sunbeam, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers earth with loveliness" (SH 247:24). One God, one Christ, one man, one Science was never lost to itself, but in this epoch this knowledge must be restored to the fold of humanity. Like the woman in Jesus' metaphor who lost one piece of silver, we must diligently sweep the house, clearing away our false beliefs and opinions, until we know that mortal mind has nothing to offer and that matter is no thing, place, or power. Then there is room for the precious Christ consciousness to be heard. Innocence has power, and it will surely restore to us the pleasant company of those who have already found their way home.

One moment of divine consciousness reunites us with our divine sonship, and if we recognize Love to be the only motivator and leader, we have the Science of it. It is Love that gathers the lost sheep. Loving our neighbor as ourselves unites the holy flock to its original glory. "Be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind" (Phil 2:2). The tribes of Israel shouted with one voice, and the walls of Jericho fell. As we take up the cross and love one another as Jesus illustrated, the veil of limitation will crumble before the infinite idea - the one man that was never lost.

George Denninger ©

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