“Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” – Q&A #2

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Enable us to know, — as in heaven, so on earth, — God is omnipotent, supreme.

Question: What is the spiritual meaning of “earth” in this Prayer?

Answer: We already know that mankind lives on a planet we call “earth.” Physical scientists tell us one story about earth: it is round, it spins, it orbits the sun in space, and is made of material elements. But when praying to God for His will to be done on earth, we need to think about how God, who is pure Spirit, can govern in a so-called material realm.

The answer starts with the idea that the earth is not what it appears to be to the physical senses! Let’s explore this idea:

Mary Baker Eddy gives us a definition of earth as it is used symbolically in the Bible:

“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 585:5-8)

The book of Revelation tells us of a wonderful vision that John had of a new heaven and earth. Mrs. Eddy writes of John’s vision:

“He saw the real earth and heaven. They were spiritual, not material; and they were without pain, sin,
or death.” (Mis. 30:9-11)

“In St. John’s vision, heaven and earth stood for spiritual ideas.” (S&H 536:4-6)

We get a glimpse in the above that the earth is no less spiritual than heaven, if we are seeing with inspired spiritual sense. The earth “is a compound idea,” which we might say is a union of ideas representing the diversity and infinity of God. We do not have to leave earth for heaven in order to be at one with God!

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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Thy Will #2


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