What is the spiritual meaning?

Have you ever read the story of the woman of Canaan who comes to Jesus to ask him to heal her daughter? Matthew 15:21-28. Last semester in one of my classes at theology school we went over this passage, and there were many conflicting opinions about what it means. And sure enough, at first glance it seems like Jesus is awfully harsh on this Canaanite woman, saying that he wasn’t sent for her and that “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.” (15:26) Why is this his response to her request for healing?

I think this story makes a little more sense when taken in context and when thinking about its deeper, spiritual meaning. Going back through the Hebrew Scriptures (not to mention other ancient texts) it becomes apparent that Canaanites worshiped other gods than Israel’s one God. There was a longstanding tradition of Israel’s prophets and leaders warning against association with Canaanites for fear of the people falling into idolatry. And the passage where Jesus meets a Canaanite woman comes right after an interaction between Jesus and some scribes and Pharisees who accuse him of breaking with tradition.

So what does all this mean? Well, what if Jesus’ words were really a challenge to idolatry? And going further, what if this interaction is an example of Jesus’ challenge to take the Gospel of Love to every creature and not to let tradition keep us in a mindset that others who aren’t like us don’t deserve healing and salvation, that they can’t enter the kingdom of God? After all, the story ends with Jesus calling the woman’s faith “great” and a wonderful healing of her daughter. Jesus spoke to and healed people who were commonly outsiders to his society, and maybe his harsh words in this case were aimed more at the mindset of those around him than at this woman who so clearly recognized Jesus and his spiritual ministry.

Please join us Wednesday evening at the bank (see address below) for more readings involving this story and time to share testimonies of healing, love, and gratitude!

Also: first time to a Christian Science church service?  Find out what to expect by checking out our “Services” page: https://jpchurch.com/services/

@ 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#

Seeds that grow

January isn’t the best time to make a New Year’s resolution, they say. It isn’t the best time to plant a garden either. But now spring is here and the soil is ready for sowing. Similarly, you yourself might be feeling rejuvenated by the warmer weather and ready to plant some seeds in your life that will grow you closer to your goals.

Go for it!

Hit the gym, keep in better touch with old friends, learn a second (or third) language. And while you’re at it, nurture the seeds of progress in your life by honoring the qualities of God these pursuits represent.

Recognize that hard work at the gym is selfless discipline, an expression of your innate spiritual being, which gives you the energy and strength to reach your goals. Identify spiritual concepts that mean something to you and let them grow in your mental outlook. You’ll reap a flourishing mind of abundance and beauty.

Join us in JP tonight to explore Jesus’ seed-related parables and how spiritual ideas take root and grow in thought as we put them into practice in our lives.

Happy cultivating!

@ 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#

Spiritual substance

Hello there! This week I’ve been thinking about spiritual substance. A few years ago, I found myself searching for a job. My student loan payments were about to start, and I was really concerned about what I was going to do. I mean really concerned! So I decided to sit down and pray. I gave some thought to why I was so worried, and realized that what I was so anxious about was having debt. I looked up the definition of “debt” in the dictionary, and the first definition listed was sin. As Genesis 1 tells us, God created all and saw that creation as good. I am a good part of God’s creation! I just knew that God was (is) loving me and caring for me, and nothing could stop that. A couple of weeks after my prayer, I got a job, and more than that, I got a raise for good performance just before another student loan kicked in. Also significantly, the job was with a great family, and I spent most of my days laughing and enjoying myself in between tasks. God’s love expressed itself through their love and joy.

What this experience taught me is that prayer is practical and spiritual qualities are substantial. In God’s economy, supply meets demand and divine Love meets every need. Sometimes things can seem really hopeless to human eyes, but all we have to do is turn our thought to God, who is always with us and guarding us. God blesses all equally and infinitely!

Please join our joyful community this Sunday!

@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
7:35-8:35 PM, EST.
-In person, or by phone (605) 475-4000, code: 636128#
what: An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, testimony sharing, and pure Love.

Open the door.

I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.

-from Revelation 3:8, 20-21
New International Version

The admission to one’s self that man is God’s own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea. This conviction shuts the door on death, and opens it wide towards immortality. The understanding and recognition of Spirit must finally come, and we may as well improve our time in solving the mysteries of being through an apprehension of divine Principle.

-from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
p. 90

Our pastor’s giving a sermon tomorrow morning on the subject of “probation after death,” from the perspective Christian Science offers.  (see the corresponding verses above for an idea of what that is.)

And despite the subject sounding a bit heavy, rest assured: the only real theme is Love.  You can expect to feel loved when you come.  You can expect to feel even more loved, more refreshed, more healthy when you leave.

(p.s. as always, the phone is open – you can tune into the service from wherever you are.  Check out the phone # below.)

Peace to you!

-the C.S. Society of JP

Details about tomorrow’s 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.

“Eye infection gone”

Two things: 1) Quick note about church.  2) a wonderful article just for you.  🙂

1 – Church will be at the bank tomorrow.  (Eastern Bank community room, 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain.  Call in at 605-475-4000 x. 636128.)

2 – In thinking about the fear of ebola that’s currently being talked about (and, particularly, the detail that this is a disease which currently has no known cure), I came across this article.  It’s a testimony of a woman who found healing of a contagious condition through prayer, despite her condition having been first diagnosed by doctors who told her that the disease was resistant to all known medicines.

The encouragement that I take from this is: even if there is no medical cure for something, or if it’s difficult to come by, there is help and health through trusting in the laws of God (i.e. the laws of purely good Life).

Here’s the article: Eye infection gone

(Noteworthy: this week’s lesson/sermon will be on a pretty helpful and relevant topic, too.  It questions whether sin, disease, and death are inevitable and real parts of life, or whether there’s a law of God that obliterates those things.)

Happy reading, and love to you!

Christa and JP Church

Gratitude and the kingdom of heaven

[ from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 590 ]

Kingdom of Heaven. The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.

This is what we’ll be celebrating this evening: the reign of harmony, the atmosphere of Spirit (i.e. God), the realm of unerring, omnipotent Mind (also a name for God) – i.e. the kingdom of heaven – and its current-ness, as well as our presence in that kingdom… right now.

(p.s. the Wednesday nights at Christian Science churches are a great place to come together with other people and share gratitude.  It’s expected to be a healing experience for everyone who attends.  As a recent visitor put it, “We need more spaces like this!”)

Whether you’ve come to church before or it’s your first time, all are warmly welcome – in person or on the phone.

Love to you, wherever you find yourself today.



Details about tonight’s service:
Eastern Bank community room, 687 Centre St, JP
(605) 475-4000 x.636128 – for remote callers
7:35pm – 8:35pm-ish, EDT
-An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, gratitude sharing, and pure love.

Just a quick note about location:

…church will be at the bank tomorrow!

(Type “687 Centre St., Jamaica Plain” into a GPS if you’re trying to find us.  7:35pm-8:35pm EDT, in person or at (605) 475-4000 x.636128.)

And… another quick note about location.  🙂

(i.e. our locations – today, wherever we might be.  Where are we “found,” or where are we “finding” other people?  Here’s one possible place to start.)

Immortal Mind heals what eye hath not seen; but the spiritual capacity to apprehend thought and to heal by the Truth-power, is won only as man is found, not in self-righteousness, but reflecting the divine nature.

-Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesp. 179:7-11

(I’ll be chewing on this idea today, myself.)



rain, rain.

Whoa, rainy day in Boston!  The clouds just opened this morning.  Magnificent downpour.  It’s the rain that the sky has been waiting to send down for days.

For those staying dry inside someplace, you might enjoy thinking about this rainy analogy today – a promise of protection:

“Clouds parsimonious of rain, that swing in the sky with dumb thunderbolts, are seen and forgotten in the same hour; while those with a mighty rush, which waken the stagnant waters and solicit every root and every leaf with the treasures of rain, ask no praising. Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee. Therefore despair not nor murmur, for that which seeketh to save, to heal, and to deliver, will guide thee, if thou seekest this guidance.”

-Mary Baker Eddy, in her address to the Concord Christian Science church, February, 1899.

And this evening, we hope you’ll join us in the cozy shelter of the bank community room, or on the phone, for our mid-week testimony meeting.  Details are below.

All love,

JP Church

Find us tonight at:
Eastern Bank community room – 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (across from Goodwill)
or on the phone at:
(605) 475-4000 x 636128
We’ll kick things off at:
7:35pm, Boston time (EDT).

Church in the PARK [click pic for map – or call in: (605) 475-4000 x 636128]



“If the Scientist reaches his patient through divine Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one visit, and the disease will vanish into its native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine.”

-Mary Baker Eddy, Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.365
(from tomorrow’s sermon)

“The physical healing of Christian Science”

Join us for church tonight, and hear the experiences of others who are striving to live a Christian life of healing.  (And share your own experience, if you’d like!)  We’ll all come together to pray, listen together to readings from our church’s pastor, and share!

Eastern Bank Community Room.  687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
7:35-8:35 PM, EDT.
how:  In person, or by phone (605) 475-4000 x 636128

In answer to a different “how” question – that is, *how does Christian Science heal?* – one particular quote has been coming to mind recently.

This is from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.  It’s a little long, but I hope you’ll agree it’s worth it 🙂

Many imagine that the phenomena of physical healing in Christian Science present only a phase of the action of the human mind, which action in some unexplained way results in the cure of disease. On the contrary, Christian Science rationally explains that all other pathological methods are the fruits of human faith in matter, — faith in the workings, not of Spirit, but of the fleshly mind which must yield to Science.

The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural. They are the sign of Immanuel, or “God with us,” — a divine influence ever present in human consciousness and repeating itself, coming now as was promised aforetime,

To preach deliverance to the captives [of sense],
And recovering of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty them that are bruised.

-Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health p. xi (read the quote in-context here)

Go peacefully today!