Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to header Skip to footer

Church Alive

Rolling stones away

From the October 2011 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I work in a Christian Science Reading Room that is located in a small shopping mall in southwest Illinois. Like other Reading Rooms around the world, we have done our best to be well located as the Church Manual stipulates, and we work hard to present fresh and relevant displays that engage the community in thinking about both local and national events from a spiritual perspective. 

However, some days it seems like no one is interested in visiting the Reading Room. As I’ve been praying about this issue though, I have come to understand that the Reading Room is a divine and eternal idea that cannot possibly operate outside God’s natural laws of harmony and attraction. The fact is, God’s man is yearning for the goodness found in each and every Christian Science Reading Room. When we align our thought with this truth, it corrects and rebukes the opposite view. 

There is an imposition on mortal thought that says Christian Science is irrelevant and outdated. This false imposition asserts that Christian Science is not capable of meeting humanity’s current needs, and that it is not attractive in today’s fast-paced world. Those notions simply are not true; Christian Science is the promised Comforter. By virtue of that fact, this Science is destined to forever be on the cutting edge. It is destined to forever be out in front of the world and infinitely far in advance of mortal thought. Nothing could be more relevant and wonderful than man’s salvation from sin, disease, and death. 

Humanity is naturally attracted to the Christ that heals. Only animal magnetism, or the “carnal mind” as Paul called it (Rom. 8:7), seems to keep us in the dark about our true spiritual nature. Christian Science Reading Rooms pour forth the light of the Christ that destroys the darkness of mortal thought. The Reading Room is like the burning bush that Moses saw in the wilderness (see Ex., chap. 3)—human thought can’t help but be attracted to this oasis of spirituality that reveals the power of God and is aflame with divine Love. 

A friend of mine pointed out a great analogy to me. She said, “Working in the Reading Room is like rolling away the stone.” This idea resonated with me. When Jesus came to heal Lazarus, he had to remove the stone from the grave of mortal thought before he could raise Lazarus. The imposition wasn’t in his thought, but it seemed to be present in the thought of others, and if he’d accepted that lie about them, he could never have uttered the mighty words, “Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43). Jesus knew that Lazarus had never died. But until he rolled away the stone, the world couldn’t seem to understand. 

Our job is to humbly roll away the stone from our own thought and to know that divine Love removes this stone from the hearts of others. 

When I think about the Reading Room, I feel I can stand on the same ground that Jesus did. I can know that no false imposition can exist in public thought, because man reflects the divine Mind. “God, and the power of his Christ” have already done the healing work (Rev. 12:10). Our job is to humbly roll away the stone from our own thought and to know that divine Love removes this stone from the hearts of others. Then people will indeed see the light of the Christ pouring out of the Reading Room.

Recently I had a chance to bear witness to the Christ rolling away the stone from our Reading Room. One day as I was sitting at the desk, a man came by to look at a basket of free items that we place in the entryway. The basket mostly includes older Christian Science periodicals, and people will stop by regularly to look for interesting things to take with them. As this man was looking intently at the items in the basket, I warmly said hello, and he proceeded to come right up to the desk and began to ask me questions about The Christian Science Monitor. I told him some facts about the Monitor, and while he seemed interested at first, he walked right out of the Reading Room without saying a word. 

Rather than taking offense or being tempted to think that a response like this was typical, I saw that this was animal magnetism—the carnal mind trying to oppose the healing work that the periodicals and Reading Rooms do around the world. I saw that this man couldn’t help but be drawn to the Christ. I knew that “there is but one real attraction, that of Spirit” (Science and Health, p. 102). Furthermore, it occurred to me that I could not only expect that this man would come back, but that he was hungering for more than just the free literature in the doorway. I knew that the Christ was impelling him to come into the store and see all we had to offer, and that he would be willing to pay a price for these items. 

A few minutes later, the man came back and asked to look around. I showed him many things. In the end, rather than going back to the basket of free items, he walked over to our display of newer issues of the Monitor and grabbed one. He was so happy to pay for it, and I felt he left feeling that he had made a valuable purchase. In fact, that same man came back the following week to share his praise for the Monitor. Before he left the Reading Room, he had purchased not one, but two issues. 

Had the man changed so dramatically in a few minutes, to cause this complete reversal? Maybe not, but my thought about him had, and that made all the difference. 

Christian Science Reading Rooms help us share the radiance of God’s love with the world. God naturally impels each one of us to walk toward the bright and joyful sunshine of Truth. When we pray to know that mankind is always being summoned by Truth and Love, and that God’s man is in reality yearning for a deeper understanding of the Christ, we remove the obstruction to Reading Room activity from our own thought. And we will find that people cannot help but come and drink from this fountain of Love.

Mark McCurties is a Christian Science practitioner. He lives in Elsah, Illinois. 

Interested in more more Journal content?

Subscribe to JSH-Online to access The Christian Science Journal, along with the Christian Science Sentinel and The Herald of Christian Science. Get unlimited access to current issues, the searchable archive, podcasts, audio for issues, biographies about Mary Baker Eddy, and more. Already a subscriber? Log in

Subscribe      Try free for 30 days

More in this issue / October 2011


Explore Concord—see where it takes you.

Search the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures