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Church as a conversation

From the July 2014 issue of The Christian Science Journal

As I was sitting in a Wednesday evening testimony meeting at my local Christian Science church recently, I wondered, “What if church was thought of as a conversation?” The readings and the testimonies shared, along with the silent spaces in between, are not unlike a conversation among loving friends. But being at church that evening felt like a deeper, more meaningful conversation—the kind where we are reminded that the most important dialogue is the one between God and us.

Our conversation with God is what others feel from us. People hear our words, but they feel our thoughts. It is this inner dialogue with divine Love that puts us in right relationship to those around us, and we each hear God in the way that we most need. Church is a collective space to practice listening more deeply than just to words being spoken. Even as we hear others, we are listening for the underlying spiritual message that comes to us intuitively and directly from God.

Sometimes conversations can feel like a back-and-forth game of reaction. But what if we get our thoughts about others directly from God, not from material appearances? This spiritual listening unites us as ideas of the one God, even when a person-to-person conversation can be difficult to understand from our differing cultural or gender perspectives. 

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