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Sharing Christian Science in the spirit of primitive Christianity

From the October 2014 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Lately I have been thinking about those stalwart colleagues of Mary Baker Eddy who were brave enough to come together and deliberate with her about forming a new church. Taking a public stand for Christian Science must have caused them some difficulty with family and friends, yet public they did go. They must have deliberated and prayed long before issuing such a bold foundational statement of their intent for the new church. It’s reported in the Church Manual as follows: “At a meeting of the Christian Scientist Association, April 12, 1879, on motion of Mrs. Eddy, it was voted,—To organize a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing” (p. 17).

I wondered, just what does it mean for me to have primitive Christianity as a goal in my daily walk and practice? It seemed to me that everything that Christ Jesus did was meant to heal. His instruction, his countless healings, his daily life, his love for his students, neighbors, and followers, were all acts of healing. Yet, one meaning of primitive would certainly be to look at what Jesus and his early followers had to do to get their movement started. And this, of course, applied to Mrs. Eddy and her early followers as well.

One thing that struck me as I was pondering this was the open way Jesus carried on his practice, stopping people in the street, even stopping a funeral procession, to heal. I don’t think his choice of people to speak to was at all random; rather, it was a demonstration of how closely he obeyed God. Jesus responded to the leading of his Father, divine Mind, and made each encounter with a receptive listener a meaningful, healing experience. This leading of divine Mind is available to all of us as we approach someone with a desire to be of help. First Peter tells us how we should share our faith with the command: “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (3:15). Fear in this context means respect.

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