On the walk to Emmaus Christ Jesus spoke so authoritatively and convincingly that later the two disciples he accompanied exclaimed, "Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" Luke 24:32;
The goal of each Reader in a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, might well be to make the reading so inspiring that the hearers' hearts burn within them as they glimpse the healing power of the Christ, Truth, in a fresh light. The reading at our church services can joyfully bear witness to Jesus' words according to Matthew, "It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." Matt. 10:20;
Inspired reading is the outgrowth of a thorough knowledge of the message and a constant striving to express the spirit of it. Biblical selections can be read with such freshness and vitality that the events they depict will seem to have just happened. Selections from Science and Health can be read with such clarity that their spiritual message will have deep meaning for every member of the congregation.
Divine Mind is the source of the ideas presented in each service. This spiritual fact, acknowledged, uplifts and fortifies the consciousness of both Reader and listener. Even though the Bible Lessonsin the Christian Science Quarterly; are presented by Readers reading to a congregation, the primary activity going on is entirely spiritual—divine Mind is expressing itself, communicating its Word to man. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, "Not personal intercommunion but divine law is the communicator of truth, health, and harmony to earth and humanity." Science and Health, p. 72;
The congregation has the opportunity to contribute immeasurably to the success of each Sunday service and Wednesday evening testimony meeting. Everyone has the opportunity to acknowledge the presence of the divine Mind and the fact that all aspects of the service are under the harmonious control of the one infinite Mind, God.
Both Reader and listener can maintain in consciousness the allness of God, good, and the utter nothingness of evil. Mrs. Eddy writes, "The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good." ibid., p. 450;
Reader and listener can refuse to acquiesce to suggestions that man is an imperfect mortal—sick, sinful, disagreeable. Man is the idea of the infinite, indivisible God. He is forever spiritual, the perfect expression of divine Love. This truth, realized, constitutes a law of harmony to the church service.
Any departure from holiness is impersonal, a lie about man's true identity. Facing divisions in the early Christian Church, Paul counseled, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." I Cor. 1:10.
Along with the congregation, the Readers listen for the impartation of the Christ, Truth. When Readers and congregation acknowledge that the readings originate in divine Mind, the healing message of those readings cannot be obscured by mortal personality, pride of position, or a false sense of responsibility. When church attendants acknowledge the allness and oneness of Mind, the spiritual truths presented at each service cannot be misunderstood or be made to seem lifeless. The message has its foundation in divine Principle, in Life itself.
Departing from each service inspired by its healing message, all can rejoice, "It has never been read like this before!"
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