Our church had a special meeting last year at which we were invited to write a paragraph about the difference our branch Church of Christ, Scientist, makes in our life. I began my contribution by recalling how much I had enjoyed my chemistry classes in college. The lectures and textbooks expanded my thinking and challenged me to deepen my reasoning abilities. But one of my chemistry professors once said, “You will never be a chemist until you work in the laboratory.”
To a scientist that might be a needed wake-up call, a reminder that one has to put what he or she understands into practice. To a Christian Scientist it carries a similar message: It’s not enough to study and love what the Science of Christ teaches, it must be proven in the lab of life. I explained that I think of my branch church as being a part of that laboratory. In fact, I see it as an essential avenue for putting what I am learning about the laws of God into practice.
The demand to demonstrate what we know in day-to-day living, especially within the church, compels me to examine my motives and innermost thoughts and their conformity with Christ’s teaching; to let go of false material notions about life; to exchange a personal sense of my neighbor for the true spiritual sense of him as God’s child; and to have the humility to serve God in whatever capacity divine Love deems best. Serving in my branch church has also encouraged me to look outward, to openly and willingly share Christ’s healing message, and to be a spiritual healer for the world.