I’ve always appreciated opportunities to share Christian Science with the public. And while serving in my local Christian Science Reading Room—a combination bookstore/library where you can pray, read and study Christian Science publications, or borrow or purchase them—I like to be open to what I can pray about in order to support my community.
One day, I prayed with the idea that the Reading Room is a “bastion,” if you will—a stronghold in the community that holds firmly to the Christ, the spiritual idea of God.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states: “The Christ was the Spirit which Jesus implied in his own statements: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life;’ ‘I and my Father are one.’ This Christ, or divinity of the man Jesus, was his divine nature, the godliness which animated him” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 26).
The term Christ can also be used to mean divine Truth, as she further explains: “Christ is the ideal Truth, that comes to heal sickness and sin through Christian Science, and attributes all power to God. Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death. Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ” (Science and Health, p. 473).
Based on the foundation of Christ, Truth, Reading Rooms have all the sustaining power of God needed to maintain their position and bring healing to every community they serve.
I also prayed with these words from Mrs. Eddy: “To-day the healing power of Truth is widely demonstrated as an immanent, eternal Science, instead of a phenomenal exhibition” (Science and Health, p. 150). The Christ is not limited to a particular time or location, but has existed throughout all time as the expression of God’s power and grace, and it is articulated in the teachings of Christian Science. So, we have a spiritual heritage of God’s power at work in our lives, and we can expect to be able to demonstrate it as we strive to follow Jesus’ teachings.
I had been praying along these lines while working at my local Reading Room when a man came in who was interested in what I could share about the practicality of God’s power—the Christ active in the world. We discussed Jesus, how we can experience the healing Christ, and then Mrs. Eddy’s discovery, which resulted in her book, Science and Health. I also explained the purpose of the Christian Science periodicals. When the man learned that the last chapter of Science and Health (entitled “Fruitage”) and the Christian Science periodicals share accounts of Christian healing in modern times, he saw that the Christ is practical in our world today. I was grateful that sharing the Christ in this way was meaningful to him.
The Christ is speaking to human consciousness today.
On another occasion, I was looking outside the front windows of the Reading Room to the street, thinking about how I wanted to share Christian Science. I wanted all—the walkers, joggers, drivers, and everyone—to be able to have it. But it seemed as though the walls of the Reading Room were keeping me from sharing it. So, in praying about this, I came to see that we all have the Christ, Truth, right here and now. No matter who we are or what our background is, everyone has the opportunity to experience the Christ. No walls of any kind, no barriers, divide the people of the community from Truth. It isn’t just accessible inside the walls of the Reading Room; nor is it dependent on the personalities involved. The truth that Jesus taught was that God is with us—ever present—so no one can be denied access to God.
These prayerful thoughts gave me such a sense of unity with humanity. And after the inspiration I had gained, I received a call at the Reading Room from a complete stranger in another state who had questions related to Christian Science and its healing message. The questions conveyed a similar willingness to learn more about the Christ, Truth.
These Reading Room experiences, among many others, have shown me that prayer that embraces a community can bring forth evidence that the Christ is speaking to human consciousness today. And this Reading Room activity points to the promise found in these words from a Christian Science hymn that we can each prove:
The Christ, eternal manhood,
As God’s own Son beloved,
A tender ever-presence
Within each heart is proved.
O God, our Father-Mother,
Thy name we see expressed
By man, who in Thy Science
Is perfect, holy, blessed.
(Margaret Glenn Matters, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 221, © CSBD)