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CHURCH: a 3-part series

Church: Thinking Outside the Walls

From the March 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal

MAYBE YOU KNOW THE OLD JOKE: A pedestrian in New York City asks a passerby how to get to the well-known Carnegie Hall. The person replies, not with directions to a street address, but with the answer, "Practice, practice, practice."

That's actually good advice for finding Church, too. We find real Church not on a street or avenue, but in our hearts, as we practice love for God and our neighbor. Real Church lives in every human heart, just waiting to be discovered.

We can think of Church as representing universal reality because the spiritual definition of Church (see Science and Health, p. 583) doesn't rely on denominations, dogmas, or rituals. As the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah wrote of such a universal understanding: "This shall be the covenant that I [God] will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them" (Jer. 31:33). The promise that everyone shall "know the Lord" is based on the fact that in their real being, as children of God, everyone does know the Lord—meaning divine Spirit.

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