By Robin Scott Collins, C.S.
From Generation to Generation
“One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.” [Psalm 145:4] The persistent reality of God’s power and goodness has long reassured humanity. It is reasonable to view divine constancy as a blessing that improves mankind along the way— morally, spiritually and physically. Spiritual life-practice in families, where generations interact from day to day, has rich potential for advancing spiritual renewal and progress in the wider world. Different generations can and should share the high ideal of mutual nurture and respect.
Jesus held up the innocence and purity seen in children as a standard for Christian discipleship. Parents, other relations and friends can learn from the children’s examples, and vice versa. The healing practice of Christian Science rests upon regard for individuals— without reference to age—as created, uniquely and equally, in the image and likeness of God, of Spirit, instead of as mortal personalities weaving in and out of conflict, illness and other discords, depending upon time and circumstances. Each family member may be perceived as spiritually developed and eternally expressive of divine Love—equipped with the tender affection which heals. Such a moral and spiritual environment opens possibilities for quick and complete healing for all—from infants and children to teens and adults. Paul described the ideal “King of peace” as “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God.” Bringing this Christ-ideal into the heart of home life, levels the playing field fruitfully, without sacrificing appropriate parental guidance and authority as children grow up.
As an illustration, during the day that I felt our youngest child would be born, I called my husband, who was at work, and the Christian Science practitioner who had been praying with us during the pregnancy. I asked the older children to help by playing with their pre-schooler brother. All afternoon I prayed calmly with a clear sense of peace and progress. I understood that our infant was conscious, cooperating, and spiritually active. Guided by divine Love, we could both feel each others’ nurturing, naturally and equally. In the evening the whole family went across town to the birthing center. There, under the supervision of the doctor whose services we had engaged, we welcomed our baby girl. It was a normal day—a happy celebration of family, and of God’s ageless, timeless, powerful presence.
Through the years of childrearing my husband and I learned much from our advancing children, whose choices were often different from ours. In Christian practice it is natural to respect differences and to support ongoing individual progress, in whatever forms, “from generation to generation”.
Mary Baker Eddy referred to herself as “… safely, soulfully founded upon the rock, Christ Jesus, even the spiritual idea of Life, with its abounding, increasing, advancing footsteps of progress, primeval faith, hope, love.” [Miscellany 139] What a model for ourselves, our families, and all generations.