Dear Broadview Friends:
Grilling outdoors for Father’s Day this weekend? Let’s also take the opportunity to “draw nigh” to our divine Father.1
“Father God” is a common concept today — but imagine how fresh and new it sounded in Jesus’ time. Henry Drummond, a theologian whose writings Mary Baker Eddy enjoyed,2 helps us recapture that feeling:
There was no word there, when [Christ Jesus] came, rich enough to carry the new truth He was bringing to men. So He imported into religion one of the grandest words of human language, and transfigured it…. That word was Father. … We should never have thought of it — if we had, we should never have dared to say it. … [A]nd when we come face to face with the real, the solid, and the moving in our religion, it is to find all its complexity resolvable into this simplicity, that God … is, after all, our Father, and we are his children. … [T]o live daily in this simplicity, is to live like Christ.3
Yes! But how can we “live daily in this simplicity”?
Here’s a story about Mary Baker Eddy, from 1885, that points the way. That fall, Eddy stepped into a classroom of new students at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College. Wearing a dress and slippers of black beaded satin, she was “slight, graceful of carriage, and … every inch a teacher.”4 One by one, Eddy silently examined each student’s thought, finding everything there from devotion to doubt to hidden hatred. Then, as the class recited the Lord’s Prayer together, Eddy veered off script. “Our dear Father,” she declared, “which art in heaven.”5 One student recalled:
These were the first words I heard her speak. They were arresting, compelling. There was a lilt of joy in her voice; I had the impression of a child who was unafraid, and a subtle but clear assurance was with me that she dwelt consciously, confidently “in the secret place of the most High.” It was not as though she had gone to the Father in prayer but rather as though because she was with the Father, she prayed.6
How often do we feel so confidently “with the Father” that we spontaneously break into prayer? At Broadview, we decided to amplify our awareness of that divinely paternal wisdom, constancy, tenderness, provision, and protection. Sitting together, listening to this version of our beautiful Hymn 442, we each made notes about one or two times in our lives we most powerfully felt the fatherhood of God. We shared our stories, mostly about big turns in the road of life like meeting our spouse, finding our life work, and a transformative healing. Then we sang this verse from the hymn together:
Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.
“I with Thee one,” indeed!
Try it yourself, immerse in song, to refresh your own sense of God the Father — and enjoy the love and blessings of our divine Father.
Marivic Bay Mabanag
We’re delighted to share the following fruitage from the 2022 Periodical Writing Webinars. Three attendees who worked with our webinar have testimonies currently in editing stages at the Publishing Society. Two others have published articles in the “of Good Report” section of the June 2022 Christian Science Journal: Upheld by Psalms 91’s promises by Dorothea Ann Lehuta and Who will be my teacher? by Maralee Burdick Knowlen. Congratulations!
1 James 4:8 (KJV) (“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”)
2 “Did Mary Baker Eddy have anything to say about Henry Drummond and The Greatest Thing in the World?” Mary Baker Eddy Library, June 28, 2018 (Kate Kimball, wife of Edward Kimball, remembered that Mary Baker Eddy said she wanted to write a book about 1 Corinthians 13, but Drummond had done such a good job it saved her the trouble.)
3 Henry Drummond, “Going to the Father” reprinted in The Greatest Thing in the World (1953), p. 154.
4 We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Vol 1, pp. 132 (reminiscence of C. Lulu Blackmon).
5 Id. at 133.