Christian Science services include hymns, prayers, and warm fellowship. Also, instead of ministers giving personal sermons, democratically elected laypeople read quotes or “readings” from our “pastor,” which is the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Every church around the world will feature similar readings on Sundays. They may also simultaneously offer classes for Sunday School students under the age of 20. At Wednesday testimony meetings, the readings are unique from one church to the next, and participants are invited to spontaneously share gratitude and testimonies of healing.
Out of turmoil, into a place of peace
At times it can feel as though we need to just hunker down and wait out the pandemic before we can truly feel joy and peace. But at every moment we can open our thoughts to God’s love and care, which lifts discouragement and fear.
No matter where you live, you’ve likely been affected by public health regulations during the pandemic. We’ve all witnessed the spirit of cooperation expressed by so many in response. Yet sometimes this is accompanied by a feeling of just hunkering down and getting through these difficult times, just “waiting it out,” as a friend recently put it.
But that didn’t sit right with me – because I’ve learned through Christian Science about the mental nature of how we experience life.
That realization was a turning point. For weeks I’d been mentally vacillating. Most of the time I felt confident in God’s ability to care for all His children. But then I’d be overcome with fear and heartache for my city, our country, and the whole world.
That began to change as I took mental action. I began actively monitoring my thinking, asking, “Did that thought come from the divine Mind, God?” If so – if it represented God’s goodness – I welcomed it in. If it was based on fear, I dismissed it as human theory and therefore limited and changeable.
This wasn’t just an intellectual exercise. It was opening my heart to acknowledge the joy and love that divine Love, God, continually expresses in all of us as His loved children – which lifts us beyond fear, frustration, and discouragement.
And that’s what happened for me. That evening, when I heard a news report of a community in conflict about when businesses should reopen, I felt genuine compassion for both sides. The next morning, during my run in the park, I was aware that people were smiling and making eye contact. I felt a general softening in all of us.
Late that afternoon I suddenly felt inspired to take a walk along the river. I’d started over there once, weeks earlier, but then it had felt outside my comfort zone, so I’d turned back. This time I walked for miles, drinking in the beauty of the river and the city I love.
The comment my friend had made reminded me to take mental action – and I’ve continued doing so ever since. As a result, there have been no more waves of uncertainty for me – just peaceful confidence that God is constantly expressing love to one and all.
Instead of simply waiting the pandemic out to experience joy and peace, we can each take mental action right now, affirming God’s care for all of us. And together we’ll contribute to an atmosphere of greater health and stability that can ripple out into the world.
By Pamela Cook —