At-one-ment

Hi all! Please join us Sunday morning for a Bible Lesson-Sermon on our at-one-ment with God. Isn’t that a great way to think about atonement?

If you have an instrument, plan on bringing it to the service, and want to practice in advance, we’ll be singing hymns 455, 254, and 137 from the Christian Science hymnal and supplement. 🙂

Here’s a thought: the meaning of sacrifice is giving something up in order to gain something else. So half the definition of sacrifice is gaining something! When we’re sacrificing things that hinder our progress or reliance on God, we can rejoice because that means what we’re actually doing is progressing and relying more on God. Drawing closer to God, recognizing our atonement, enables us to gain everything.

@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map). 10:35-11:35 AM, EST, on Sunday and 7:35-8:35 PM, EST, on Wednesday.
-Or by phone (605) 475-4000, code: 636128#

“Present your bodies a living sacrifice”

–> 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

Love,

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.

Wake up.

Recently, I had a dream that my best friend had died.  I woke up pretty upset.  This guy’s basically my brother, so I felt I should call his mom to express my condolences or maybe grieve with her.  As I contemplating dialing the number I’d dialed so many times as a kid to find out if Kyle could come over, I knew, theoretically, that since it had been a dream, he should still be alive, somewhere, and this call wasn’t logically necessary.  The response in my head was “Come on, are you going to not call a grieving mother because of some theory?”  Pretty soon, the absurdity sank in, and I began to feel better.  Turns out, Kyle was okay the whole time, unaffected by my dream, unaware of how vivid it was.  Huh.

Of course, the unreality of dreams is no mere theory or doctrine; it’s simple truth.  Believing it or not doesn’t change the truth.  But understanding reality sure can lift the shade of gloom imposed by a fleeting dream.

And if you’re familiar with this blog, you probably know where I’m going with this.  Jesus revealed that the kingdom of heaven is here and now.  And indeed,

Our Master taught no mere theory, doctrine, or belief.  It was the divine Principle of all real being which he taught and practised.  His proof of Christianity was … Science…”

Mary Baker EddyScience and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 26

Christ’s teachings are demonstrated fact.  All the things overcome by Jesus (storms, sickness, sin, death) need affect us no more than my dream, for dreams they must be, contradicting the Principle that is Love.

And Kyle’s still smiling.


So, any day is a good day for retelling the story of Jesus’ ultimate triumph, his proof of the insubstantiality of even the most vivid dreams (abandonment, scourging, and crucifixion).  Including this Sunday.

So, on Sunday we’ll be hosting a church service, including singing, prayer, and a sermon given by our pastor on Jesus’ doctrine of atonement.  We’ll start at 10:35am (EDT) @687 Centre St. in JP.  Please come by or call in via (605) 475-4000 x636128#.  We’d love to share our Sunday mornin’ with ya.

 

Abrazos grandes,

Grant and jpchurch

PS: a little ditty about the end of (the dream of) death, by a band called Gungor, having entirely too much fun:

1

Sometimes I feel like I’m being pulled in multiple directions.

Sometimes it looks like there are personalities conflicting in my personal life, at work, in government, at war with each other.

Sometimes it feels like I have base wants competing with higher aspirations.

Any of that ever a challenge for you?  Well, when asked the one central thing that was most important to abide by, the most scientific man ever quoted from Scripture:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.

There’s no note of compromise, nothing half-assed about it.  Science is science; it’s not wishy-washy.  As Moses proclaimed, “The Lord our God is one Lord [the only Lord].”  God being Love, that makes man, who is ruled by that Principle, directed harmoniously, in concord, not dissonance.  As Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, put it in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, understanding this “unfold[s] the foundation of fellowship, in which one mind is not at war with another, but all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source… If God is admitted to be the only Mind and Life, there ceases to be any opportunity for sin and death,” (p. 276).  She goes on to write about how this understanding enables radical healing.

So, keep this rule.  Insist on unity in the government of the universe.  Don’t accept lies about many conflicting forces or the discord that follows therefrom.  Just recognize and affirm the harmony of one Principle in charge, one Mind directing.

You can apply this to political squabbles, to armed conflict, to social inequity, to love triangles, to multiple sclerosis, to job hunts, to cancer, to health care.  There aren’t conflicting political agendas, conflicting personalities, conflicting needs of different peoples, wants, confused agents of health, many minds seeking finite resources from other personalities, many sources of “life” competing, …

All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation.

Science and Health, p. 468

Our pastor’s going to give a sermon tomorrow morning on this doctrine of at-one-ment.  Party’s at 687 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain, at 10:35 Sunday mornin’.  Bring your healing, and/or bring what needs to be healed.  Love.

PS: Callers in, as usual: phone (605) 475-4000 x636128, and a handy link for collection.

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.)