–> Details of the church location, time, call-in number are at the bottom of this post. <–
This week, students of Christian Science around the globe (and others who have access to the C.S. Bible Lesson) got to study a lesson that, among other things, describes a new-old way of worship. It talks about one-time sacrifices – i.e. goats or lambs, way back when, and perhaps monetary offerings today – not being the end-all be-all of connecting with God. (Though, often, those kinds of sacrifices were, and still are, pointing people’s hearts in the right direction.)
The new-old sacrifice?
Us. Everything we might think of as ourselves. Egos; opinions; plans for how our lives are supposed to go; desires for happiness to come in a certain form – even, sometimes, the desire to be loved by a particular person, or by certain people; identifying ourselves as physical beings; and the worries, fears, and diseases that threaten the world and also try to claim us. And more. Anything that would point away from God, i.e. holy Love, as being the thing that’s in charge of every single part of life, we get to give up.
I love that self-sacrifice is one of Christianity’s essential themes. It’s not easy to give up habits, life choices, ways of thinking that bring us satisfaction or point us down the path of a self-satisfied life. In fact, more often than not, it can feel wicked difficult. But oh, man… does it feel good when we do.
(Some super tuned-in, wise people over the ages have figured that out and told us all about it and how awesome it is. And now we get to do it ourselves. Pretty amazing.)
The thing is, self-sacrifice might not be a popular idea with the world… but, then again, since when has pure spirituality ever been popular with materialism? Prolly never, I’d guess.
You’re welcome to come join in at our service tomorrow, in person or on the phone, to collectively/individually consider these ideas some more. For now, I’ll leave you with one of Paul’s behests, found in the Bible lesson this week:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
–Romans 12:1, 2, King James Version
the JP Church clerk
Details about tomorrow’s (Sunday) service:
Eastern Bank community room, 687 Centre St, JP
(605) 475-4000 x.636128 – for remote attendees
10:35am – 11:35am-ish, EDT
-An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, and pure love.