The Churches of Christ, Scientist are the face of Christian Science to the world. They are a place where the public can see the health, strength and joy of the Christian Science community, and feel the welcoming warmth of the Christ in the Christian Science readings, hymns, and fellowship of our churches.
Church is a place where we can rekindle our spiritual flames and be reminded of why we pray and study; where we can be encouraged by other’s testimonies and inspired by and share new insights.
It’s a place to give public gratitude to God for the power of the Christ and Christian Science, for the sacrifices of the master Christian, Christ Jesus, and our dear leader, Mary Baker Eddy. Church is important and valuable! Going to church is a healing activity!
I’ve had many healings during church services and I’m sure many of you, who are reading this, have too.
I remember one particular time when I struggled to walk into church on a Sunday morning because several days before I had stubbed my toe and it was still quite painful. I was having trouble walking and it had even been very difficult to get a shoe on that morning. As I allowed my thought to rest on the ideas in the weekly Bible Lesson that was read during the church service and the message in the hymns I was so inspired that I totally forgot my foot. When I got up to leave the service I was able to walk freely without any pain. That afternoon I went on a 5 mile hike and the toe and foot were entirely comfortable. The healing that had taken place in the sanctity of the church service was complete.
If you love Christian Science and rely on it for healing and comfort you will find that Church membership is a blessing! It is also an opportunity that teaches us patience and humility; it gives us many opportunities to rise above a personal sense of things and express harmony, joy, Christly love, unity and gratitude. It gives many opportunities for spiritual growth and heightens our awareness of our present salvation.
As we attend and participate in church, we often find within ourselves new depths of love, humility, enthusiasm, resourcefulness, inspiration, creativity, dedication, and consistency.
Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that, “…the human self must be evangelized.” (SH 254:19-20) We practice this self-evangelization at church not by pushing our own agendas, but by expressing patience, love, forgiveness, intelligence and humility; and also by sharing our joy with friends and family by inviting them to church activities.
Mrs. Eddy wrote in Miscellaneous Writings “Love is not puffed up; and the meek and loving, God anoints and appoints to lead the line of mankind’s triumphal march out of the wilderness, out of darkness into light.” (Mis 130:29) We can’t lead if we alienate those who would follow. We, as Christian Scientists, must work to increase our fitness to lead mankind from weakness to strength, from sorrow to joy, from sickness to health by loving more and expressing that love discernibly.
By increasing our own spiritual fitness, we naturally lead, not by choice, or force, or acquiescence, but because it’s natural for people to be drawn toward the light, especially the light of Love.
When faced with a sense of human self, or personality, at church, it’s valuable to remember that the Churches of Christ, Scientist are governed by spiritual law, not by personal opinion. The Bible and the Church Manual are our authorities regarding the divinely inspired laws that govern our churches.
When we face a decision point in our churches, it’s important to ask ourselves, as Mrs. Eddy guided, “... whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one.” (SH 82:31-2)
Wisdom is not stagnant. It is not petrified with fear; it is not cemented in ritual; and it is not tied down by structure. Our church committees need not and should not be frozen in indecision. In Miscellaneous Writings Mrs. Eddy wrote “Wisdom in human action begins with what is nearest right under the circumstances, and thence achieves the absolute.” (Mis 288:13)
If you are blessed enough to live near a Christian Science church or society, attending and participating with love and joy and spiritual motives will bless you, and only false attractions, animal magnetism, can keep you away. Mrs. Eddy wrote, in Science and Health, (SH 57:18) “Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.”
The Science that brings you happiness, healing, and grace is unselfishly shared in church, the “structure of Truth and Love”. (SH 583:12) It’s right for us share our love of Christian Science by supporting our church’s services and other activities.
If you don’t live near a Christian Science church, find an online or phone dial-in church community where you can share spiritual strength. The flame of many coals together burns brighter, and warmer, and longer than the flame of an individual ember standing alone.
Church and our church family give us a wonderful place and opportunity to feel and live what Mrs. Eddy wrote in Miscellaneous Writings where she said, “Oh, may the love that is talked, be felt! and so lived, that when weighed in the scale of God we be not found wanting. Love is consistent, uniform, sympathetic, self-sacrificing, unutterably kind;” (Mis 312:2-5 (to ;))