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Church membership—a call to discipleship

From the April 1983 issue of The Christian Science Journal

What a privilege and obligation—to belong to The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, and to one of its branches!

What does it mean to be a Christian Scientist? Is an individual ready for church membership when he studies the Bible Lesson In the Christian Science Quarterly . every day, attends church services regularly, and refrains from drinking, smoking, and relying on drugs? Does membership in a Church of Christ, Scientist, provide more than a handy place in which to attend services of the religion of our choice and a job on a committee? Is it, in fact, a call to discipleship?

We might ask ourselves what Jesus required of his disciples, and what made them effective church workers after Jesus had ascended, leaving them on their own to preach the gospel. (Think of the way they converted thousands! See Acts 4:4 .) A clue can be found in Luke, chapter 24, where we are told of two disciples who were walking away from Jerusalem after their beloved Master had suffered what must have looked to them like a terrible defeat—crucifixion. As they were journeying, Jesus joined them, although they didn't recognize him at that point. The Bible tells us that Jesus quoted Scripture, enabling them to see that what had happened was not a defeat but a fulfillment of prophecy. Later, he broke bread and gave it to them, and they finally recognized him. What occurred during this encounter must have changed the nature of their commitment—so much so that they left Emmaus and started back to Jerusalem that very night. "And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" Luke 24:32. Their hearts burned within them! The meaning of Scripture had been opened to them, they had seen their risen Master, and inspiration— deeper insight—impelled them to return immediately to their fellow workers and share the good news.

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