Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Question: What does “inherit the earth” mean?
Answer: Since it would be impossible for a single person to own this planet we call earth, the phrase “inherit the earth,” must be symbolic. That means it represents something else. For
instance, a dove often represents the concept of peace. What might the earth represent here?
Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy has a definition in its “Glossary”: “EARTH. A sphere, a type of eternity and immortality, which are likewise without beginning or end . . . To material sense, earth is matter; to spiritual sense, it is a compound idea.” (S&H 164)
The earth, then, is a compound spiritual idea, which mortals now see as material. It is a realm of thought. Some of the thoughts appear as material beliefs. These are the thoughts which man must learn to control, before they control him.
Meekness is what gives us dominion, or self-control, over earthly beliefs. We inherit this dominion from God, who is our Father-Mother. An inheritance is a transfer of ownership, or a gift, to someone, by reason of their birth, or relationship to another. Man’s birthright is “dominion over the earth,” as we are told in the book of Genesis. But, this dominion is usable only to those who recognize that they are the sons and daughters of God, and meekly obey Him. We will learn more about our inheritance and dominion in other lessons.
Practice: Do you ever think about the earth belonging to God? Can you think of ways to show our love and gratitude for our planet? What does it give us?
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(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Two: The Beatitudes”
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