I recently completed a three-year term as First Reader at my branch Church of Christ, Scientist. The First Reader conducts the main part of the Sunday service each week as well as the Wednesday evening testimony meetings. Duties for the Sunday service include choosing hymns, the Scriptural Selection, and the benediction in addition to reading the portion of the weekly Bible Lesson that’s from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. For Wednesday testimony meetings, the First Reader prepares readings from the Bible and Science and Health on a relevant topic and selects appropriate hymns. In the weeks before my church’s election meeting three years ago, I worried about whether I really had the time to serve and whether I could find the inspiration to prepare readings and the Scriptural Selection each week if I were elected.
I was putting a mortal limit on a spiritual pursuit.
Many thoughts came to me suggesting that I didn’t have time, particularly to serve as First Reader: “You have a full-time job with evening activities”; “You have three kids at home to nurture and guide”; “The kids have evening events.” At first it was intimidating. But in Science and Health, part of the spiritual definition of time in the Glossary is this: “Mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge; …” (p. 595).