Did you know Mary Baker Eddy revised the Church Manual more than any other of her books besides Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures? She writes about its By-Laws in part as follows: “They were impelled by a power not one’s own …. They sprang from necessity, the logic of events,—from the immediate demand for them as a help that must be supplied to maintain the dignity and defense of our Cause; …” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 148). She took such care in the Manual’s development and articulation, listening to God to direct the wording of each By-Law. She was consistently humble, precise, careful, and obedient in executing the content of the Church Manual. Is each of us being just as precise, and obedient, and appreciative of this book and the inspired sense of governance it provides? Are we humbly turning to it and listening to God unfold what we next need to learn from its inspired pages? After all, “Built on the rock, our church will stand the storms of ages: …” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 140).
The Manual is an essential part of our Church, and with it as our guide, the Church will indeed “stand the storms of ages,” perpetuating and maintaining Mind’s governance and thus healing and saving humanity. The “dignity and defense of our Cause” will be maintained. What a rallying cry! This is not the stuff of sleepy acquiescence or blind following—it is a bugle call to each of us to take our mental stand for God’s power in defending and furthering this precious Cause of Christian Science. What greater opportunity is there for us, than, through our daily practice of divine Science, to insist on and expect to see healing and salvation throughout the world—deliverance from sin, sickness, and death—be it in the form of illness or poverty, extremism or a sense of fear or hopelessness. By receptively bearing witness to the spiritual substance of the Church Manual, we are prayerfully contributing to good governance worldwide.
Our role in church is to gratefully bear witness to God’s mighty power and sweet ever-presence in every activity—even when the opposite seems true!