Real talk: Comfort for dark holiday times

We’ve all heard the story a million times:  The Jews were following the letter of God’s law as best they understand, but things weren’t getting better: they were subject to a growing empire that delegates power to a corrupt king; abuse, tragedy, and sickness were commonplace.  Into this scene entered a beautiful new idea, the highest representation of Christ Truth come to man, and would bring man’s salvation not from the Romans but from mortality itself.

Yeah, yeah, right?  In the right mood, this story can seem beautiful to us, but if you’re suffering from loneliness, disease, unemployment, depression, discrimination, loss, violence, poverty, injury… Christmas carols can seem trite, cliche, impotent.  Right?

Well, we know better: God makes all things new.  Jesus asked us over an over to turn ourselves around and hear good news.  If you’re willing to do that, to stop giving any power to the apparent circumstances and listen to God’s love, it’s there in exactly the new, fresh way you need.  Right now.  Yesterday.  Tomorrow.

And if that seems out of reach right now, that’s okay.  The fact is that God loves you.  Right now.

In her work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy wrote:

When the ocean is stirred by a storm, then the clouds lower, the wind shrieks through the tightened shrouds, and the waves lift themselves into mountains.  We ask the helmsman: “Do you know your course?  Can you steer safely amid the storm?”  He answers bravely, yet even the dauntless seeman is not sure of his safety…  Yet, acting up to his highest understanding, firm at the post of duty, the mariner works on and awaits the issue.  Thus should we deport ourselves on the seething ocean of sorrow.  Hoping and working, one should stick to the wreck, until an irresistible propulsion precipitates his doom or sunshine gladdens the troubled sea.

Not the happiest note to end on; and indeed, judging by human circumstance, we often can’t see whether storms will end in doom or sunshine.

Thankfully, Jesus demonstrated that “The waters will be pacified, and Christ will command the wave,” (ibid., p. 570; cf. Mark 6:45-51).

Can I walk on the water?  Not yet, no.  But I have experienced that Christ can bring healing love to me even when I think I’m in a dark storm of fear and confusion.

Was a time several years ago, when I was succeeding in my career, but nowhere else: I hated myself for who I was; I was lonely with no prospects of changing that; I had a physical disease that scared me; work was highly competitive and therefore stressful.  I’m sure many of you can “top” this list; it’s not a competition — it just sucks when life seems like it sucks.  What made it all dangerous was that, having been raised Christian Scientist, I wasn’t seeking “conventional” help for these things, but being a skeptical young academic man, I wasn’t embracing Christian Science for treatment, either.

The turning point wasn’t particularly hallmark-y: it’s not that Jesus came in a beam of light and healed me one day.  No, one day, the aforementioned disease advanced to a stage where I felt threatened, and treatment appeared necessary.  Given that it had gone untreated for years, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give C. S. a try first.  So I called my old Sunday School teacher, who was also a practitioner (healer).  I pointed out what I saw as a tension in using C. S. to treat me: that I couldn’t convince myself to believe in God.  She reassured me that it wasn’t my burden: God, Love, would prove Himself to me.  She’d give me prayerful treatment.

The disease went away promptly.  I didn’t even notice the change; it was just gone.

Over the ensuing years, my trust in God and this Science grew (and for awhile, very slowly).  And the challenges listed above dropped away one by one.  I’ve been a stably happy and healthy guy for awhile now, and I hope I’m blessing others.  Of course, I still have challenges I’m working on, but I look forward to sharing success stories about those too, because I know this Science of universal Love works.  And I rejoice because now I know that I can turn to Science, rather than suffering, to teach me the unreality of these claims.

All this is to say: no matter what oppression you’re going through right now, God’s love will be made clear to you as soon as you’re open to it.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armour of light. -Paul, Romans.

The holidays can be the hardest time of the year to those who suffer.  But the message of Christmas, the dawn of the idea of Truth coming to man to heal, is irresistible.

And if this whole message missed you because you’re a pretty happy person, great.  Let your cup run over, blessing others.  It feels great.  Just make sure you do it with tenderness, aflame with love, rather than by spewing holy writ.

May you experience the love pouring down on you this season, and may this dawn of the Christ reach you every day, and never be dulled by any claim of being “cliche”.  Although it’s been said many times, many ways, merry Christmas to you.

…and enjoy some cocoa, generosity,  and bright lights while you’re at it.

From Grant & the rest of jpchurch

On fire: Wednesday

When Jesus overcame death, he appeared to two of his followers and explained some things to them.  Their reaction?

Amazing! Weren’t our hearts on fire within us … ?  Didn’t you feel it all coming clear … ?

Jesus represented the Christ, which reaches all of us.  Have you ever felt your heart on fire, or felt this perfect clarity?  Isn’t that the Christ speaking to you?  Do not forsake this love: act on it, and never forget it.  (And tell us about your adventures!)

Wednesday we’ll be having a meeting, where we’ll all be sharing about the benefits that listening to the Christ has brought to our lives.  We’d love to have you, to hear from you, to support you.  Party’s at 687 Centre St., JP, and starts at 7:35 pm (EST).  You can phone in at (605) 475-4000 x636128#.

And don’t forget, it is “God … working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Phil. 2:13, NLT)

Real, powerful GOOD! It just *is*.

…and we’ll be gathering to celebrate that, together.

Weds, 7:30pm EST
Eastern Bank Community Room, 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain
(call-in number (605) 475-4000 x 636128.)

How is God, good, moving in your life?  How are you seeing healing, progress, growth?

How are you witnessing the Christ in very real ways—today?

Come hear a short sermon from our pastor (the Bible + Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures).  Sing with us, and share your experiences of God in your life.  Or just listen.  

In either case, you are loved.  Deeply.

Christianity, Science, Church, and Society

As always, we’re having a meeting this Wednesday evening, wherein we’ll have some readings from our pastor, some singing, and some sharing of testimonies of Christian Science.  Can’t wait to hear what you have to offer, and/or share with you 🙂  The service is at 687 Centre St. in JP, and starts at 7:35pm.  (If you want to phone in, the number is 1.605.475.4000 x636128.)

 Also, some of us are (informally) having dinner beforehand @ Same Old Place, just up Centre St., at 6:30 pm – we’d love to have you join us!  We’ll be the smiley bunch.

 

PS: We could use a hand over the coming weeks – please contact us if you’d like to usher, sing, or read (the last requires membership in The Mother Church).

Freedom Road

Feeling separated from God? Feeling disconnected from Love? Feeling flawed? Finding it hard to love somebody? It’s okay; come on in – we’re going to be talking (and singing) about how Christ brings everybody to God, Love, and the amazing healing effect this inevitably has. Show starts at 10:35 AM on 687 Centre St. in JP. See you there! (Or call in at (617) 475-4000 x636128.)

Sifting reality

What is real?  A while ago, there was one guy in particular who was really good at sorting out what was real from what wasn’t, and applying that understanding to great effect, healing the sick, uplifting the wretched, teaching the meek, and showing the falsity of death.  Come hear about it and spread the love!

We’ll be starting at 10:35 AM on Sunday 3/31, at our usual spot: 687 Centre St., JP.  Or call in at (605) 475-4000 x636128.

Also feel free to join us breaking bread afterwards!

Church! (Note: different location)

Feeling the love?  Good, because you’re loved.  Come hear about it as we share some readings, hymns, and testimonies.  The service this week will be at 9 Seaverns Ave., Apt. 2F in Jamaica Plain, starting at 7:35 PM this Wednesday, 3/27.

Bread will be broken beforehand, potluck style, starting ~6:45 PM.  If you feel so inclined, we’d love to share fellowship with you!  Same location – just buzz and you shall receive.

PS:  The location change is just for this Wednesday; afterwards we’ll be at the bank’s community room.  But we’ll be moving to the park just as soon as Boston admits it’s Spring… keep checking back here for that 🙂