Different location tonight!

Heads up!  Tonight’s Wednesday night testimony service will *not* be taking place at the Eastern Bank Community room.

Instead, we’ll be meeting at:
44 Robinwood Ave, Apt. 3L

If you’re already at the bank when you read this, never fear!  Just head back up Centre St, towards City Feed & JP Licks.  Robinwood Ave is about 1/2 mile beyond those places, on the right as you’re coming from that part of JP.

If you’re coming from downtown Boston on the 39 bus, your stop is Lochstead Ave.  Cross the street and walk one more block down, and Robinwood Ave will be on your left.

If you’re on the Orange Line, get off at the Green St. stop and walk up Green, past the park.  Turn right onto Rockview, then left onto Robinwood.  Follow it up and around, and 44 will eventually be on your right.

And if you’re nowhere near JP?  Our call-in number is (605) 475-4000, code: 636128.

(We’ll still start our meeting at the usual 7:35pm.)

Wherever you are today

in JP or elsewhere, with other people or by yourself…

rest assured: the Christ is there, too.

Love and peace to you today,

JP Church

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Hezekiah’s lesson

Hezekiah was a pretty cool king.  The previous king, having powerful allies, had incorporated the religion of his allies into Jerusalem’s Temple, including idol worship, and eventually closed the Temple.  Upon becoming king, Hezekiah’s first acts included restoring the Temple and cleansing his country of idol worship.

Then he got deathly sick.  And Isaiah, a big-deal man of god for the last four kings, came to check it out and reported, “Sorry pal, get your house in order, ’cause you’re not sticking around.” [Isa. 38:1, heavily paraphrased—I encourage you to go read the real version.]  Hezekiah was, understandably, upset, and now had no recourse but to confront his mortality honestly.  But while open-heartedly bewailing his pain and tragedy, he had two realizations: (1) that God doesn’t sustain sin [Ibid 17], and (2)

“The dead don’t thank you [God],
    and choirs don’t sing praises from the morgue.
Those buried six feet under
    don’t witness to your faithful ways.
It’s the living—live men, live women—who thank you,
    just as I’m doing right now.” [Ibid 18-19]

These realizations: that sin is transitory, and that life is what expresses God’s glory, may have fueled his protest against his death-sentence, knowing what God preserves and what He doesn’t:

“Remember how I’ve lived my life. I’ve lived faithfully in your presence, lived out of a heart that was totally yours.” [Ibid 3]

Isaiah was already on his way out, but God didn’t even let Isaiah leave the room [II Kings 20:4] before having him turn around and promise recovery, health, and life to Hezekiah!

Now Hezekiah’s inner sense had been keen enough to protest that this apparent story of sickness and death of a righteous life didn’t fit how God ran the show, but at this point, having received conflicting diagnoses, he felt like he could use some assurance, so he asked Isaiah for some.  Isaiah said sure: God can move the time on the sundial by 10 minutes as a sign, a promise.  Hezekiah pointed out that the time on the sundial was always moving forward, so God’d better move it back 10 minutes, just to make it clear it was Him.  And, indeed, so it happened [Ibid 11].

Three days letter, Hezekiah was not dead but well.  He went on to build up Jerusalem, defeat (through reliance on God, without touching a weapon) a huge invading Assyrian army, and oversee great economic growth in his kingdom.

So next time it seems like everything’s (or anything) is going downhill, think of Hezekiah.  His keen sense of God’s truth can be yours, too.  Take a moment to honestly confront your situation.  Know God isn’t behind your fleeting faults, but that God’s glory is (and must be) expressed in your immortal goodness.

And, if need be, ask Him to prove it.

He will.

He loves you.

 

This story, a scientific explanation of it, as well as a few others, make up a Bible sermon on “mortals and immortals” that will be given at our church this Sunday morning, at 10:35 (EDT).  We’ll also sing some praises and pray a bit together.  It may be too damp out, so we’re going to meet inside at 687 Centre St. in JP, but feel free to call in at (605) 475-4000 x636128# if that’s a little far.

yours,

Grant and jpchurch

Waking up right on Sunday mornin’

Hello!

Sunday morning’s coming, and that means we’ve got another dose of prayer, song, readings, and love for you. This week we’re meeting at 687 Centre St. in JP (@ 10:35), but keep watching this site (or our calendar) for when we start meeting outside in our community! And you can always call in at (605) 475-4000 x636128#.

The topic this week is the Adam-dream, and wakening from it to realize present good.

It’ll be a lovely morning, which is why your presence would be so fitting 🙂

Unity,
jpchurch

Wednesday Welcome

Hey!  You!  You signed up to follow us or you’ve found your way to our website; in either case, you’re groovy.  Being such a cool individual, you’re very much welcome to join us this Wednesday evening.  We’ll be meeting at 687 Centre St. in JP @7:35 to talk about the Science of the Christ and how we use it in our lives, as well as to sing and pray a bit.  Our door’s always wide open.  Or call in at (605) 475-4000 x636128#.  The open door before you cannot be shut.

<3,

jpchurch

Prayer this Sunday

Lord, do not hold back your mercy from me;
    let your love and truth always protect me.
Troubles have surrounded me;
    there are too many to count.
My sins have caught me
    so that I cannot see a way to escape.

    Hurry, Lord, to help me.

let those who follow you
    be happy and glad.
They love you for saving them.
    May they always say, “Praise the Lord!”

David

This Sunday we’ll be praying, reading, and singing about God’s mercy, His love, sin, punishment, reformation, and healing.  We’ll meet at 10:35am (EDT) @ 687 Centre St.  Please, join us there or by phone (605) 475-4000 x636128#.

Loooooove,
jpchurch

Fraternity this Wednesday

OK, challenge: think of somebody that scares you.  Maybe someone with power, maybe a hypothetical criminal, maybe someone directly involved in your life, whoever comes up for you.  Now realize that God, infinite Love, made that someone, the same way She made you — as a manifestation of loving intelligence.  This is your sibling, who shares your loving Father-Mother.  Anything that claims otherwise is not a legitimate part of your or their identity, and can be dropped.

Does this claim seem outlandish?  Realizing it and understanding why it’s true can have profound healing transformation in your (and their!) life.  Do you have questions about this?  Bring ’em!  Leave them in the comments, or better yet bring them to our little get-together this Wednesday evening. A bunch of your brothers and sisters will be circling up to talk about how realizing our (and everybody’s) nature as a loved child of God brings harmony to situations that initially seemed otherwise.  We’ll also read, pray, and sing a bit about these things.  Party’s at 7:35pm @ 687 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain, MA, but is open to folks all over the world via telephone (605) 475-4000 x636128# (or Skype, upon request).

Love to have ya,

jpchurch

One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, “Love thy neighbor as thyself;” annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry,—whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.

“Fill your minds with beauty and truth”

This blog has produced perhaps too many words to read of late.  So today, we’re just gonna marinate in some good thought at the behest of Paul:

Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.

Do that, not because it’s nice, but because it’s what substance is, and what we’ll learn the most from.

We’ll be sharing some of the beauty and truth we’ve experience this Wednesday evening at 7:35 (EDT), @ 687 Centre St. in JP, reachable via (605) 475-4000 x636128#.  We’d so love to have you join us!

<3,

jpchurch

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:

A call to love.

[revised]

As I think about this date and the challenge it represents to me, I feel compelled to challenge myself.  And why not pose the challenge to you, too?  The challenge: Love more.

Love is unconditional.

We all love the Boston Police Department when they’re restoring order amidst the confusion of violence.  We respect their commands, we party in the street with their victory.  What about when they pull us over?

Would you be able to love a popular, soft-spoken, religious, teenage lifeguard who’s a Best Buddy, a student, and a little brother?  What if he was involved in a bombing or a police murder?

What about Putin or Assad?  Someone in Boko Haram?  How about Obama or Cruz?  That kid from high school?  The beggar outside the coffee shop?  The driver that cut you off?  Your ex?

Yourself?

God loves you, just like She loves Sean Collier and the Tsarnaevs.  And Putin, your ex, everyone in Boston, everyone everywhere.  These are not mere platitudes.  They’re based on Principle (that God made you good and recognizes it) and understanding it can radically improve our situation.

When his reliance on God brought him (peaceful) victory over a whole army that had been sent to kill him, Elisha fed and freed them, thereby earning peace with their king.

Jesus forgave his murderers.

Love doesn’t mean enabling bad behavior — Jesus’ famous “turn the other cheek” is a triumph over violence, a command to demonstrate that violence is powerless against Love.  And he didn’t just talk the talk on that point, either.

Sure, but that’s Jesus Christ.  We can’t all be Jesus…  But we have one God; we’re emanations of one Mind.  We can therefore work to do as Paul asked: let that mind which was in Christ Jesus be in us.

I’m not saying I succeed in my effort at Christ-ian (we really should have a word for that… 😉 ) love all the time.  But I’m working on it, and I invite you to work with me.  I have to admit, I have trouble with people who walk inconsiderately.  And Bashar al-Assad.  But I’m taking it a day, a step, at a time, and I’m committed to loving in a more principled way.  To learning that we all have the same Father-Mother, Good.  To letting go of my claims against them.  To refusing the claims of fault in my siblings.  To demanding that I see the good in their individuality.  I still have more ease with some folks than with others, but I’m working at it.

For instance, I’ve lived in urban areas for awhile, and I’ve often been unsure of how to interact with folks asking me for money, aware that sometimes giving them what they ask for could be enabling destructive behavior, and sometimes honestly taking it personally when I detect attempts at deception.  Lately I’ve taken this question to God (Mind, Love), and have received more opportunities to interact with these brothers and sisters of ours.  I’ve begun learning who some of them are, how they express Good, and how I can effectively express love to them.  I’ve learned to listen, to share, to respect…  And, unsurprisingly, they’ve given me more than I’ve given them.  They’ve taught me about gratitude, grace, humility, strength, and more.  I’m really grateful for them.  (PS: if you want to better love this segment of your family, I recommend the Sermon on the Mount, being a pal, and learning what’s useful to them.)

I spent this time last year asking God to show me how to love the Tsarnaevs.  I think of myself, of those I love, and think of bad things I/they’ve done and people who don’t like me/them, and why I love them anyway.  Why the good in them inherently is more important than the bad, more identified with who they are, more lasting.  I don’t know the Tsarnaevs personally, but I know God loves them, and I know God’s not dumb.  Please join me in loving them and everyone who feels the same conflicts they do.


Some of us are getting together this Wednesday evening to talk about divine Love and how we put into practice our understanding of it, how it makes our lives better and lets us love more.  There’ll also be some readings, singing, and prayer.  We’d be thrilled if you;d join us at 687 Centre St. in JP (or via (605) 475-4000 x636128#) @7:35 (EDT).

I’m … still working on people who walk on the left side of the sidewalk.

<3,

Grant and jpchurch

“One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.”

Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.340

Freedom sermon this Sunday

“the truth shall make you free.”

Jesus, John 8:32

“Truth brings the elements of liberty.”

Mary Baker EddyScience and Health with Key to the Scriptures p.224

 


Freedom’s pretty important to us.

We’ve fought many wars in its name, written countless books about it, sung songs, and made movies (including the #1 movie right now).  We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got our work cut out for us – there’s a lot of bonds out there to be torn away: sensualism shackles its practitioner to a false master, as well as fueling the horrors of sex slavery; the idea that somebody is not my brother bars me from the natural expression of brotherly love to him, but is also what allows discriminatory (literal) imprisonment of way too many young men in my country and others; selfishness constricts anybody that harbors it, and can motivate leaders to take away the people’s rights.  We can see infringements of freedom in our own lives or in world events on the news.

When tyranny, literal or metaphorical, in our own lives or the world abroad, seems beyond us to rise above… where do we turn?  Well, liberty is also a constant theme in the Bible: from Egypt to Rome, from false idols to plagues, there was always some bondage to be overcome.  And the savior can always throw off that bondage.  In her seminal work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy explained that the Christ, this message of Truth come to destroy error, best exemplified by Jesus, is what enabled folks from Moses to Paul, as well as herself, her students, and anyone, to cast off their bonds, by understanding their transience, by understanding the allness of God good.  Indeed, she writes that the person trying to understand Christ

“has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good.”

Any and all apparent lack of freedom boils down to the simplest lie: that there is another power than God, divine Love.  Uncovering this truth is liberation.  This corrects sin, unshackling the sinner.  It heals disease, unbinding her whom Satan hath bound.  One big tyrannical lie is death, and the always-truth that Life is eternal overcomes that, too.  Truth overcomes these things so efficaciously because they’re not real — they have no claim in our story of harmony and growth.

I say that like it’s easy — I’m still working on it… sure seems like I’m bound with some of these irons right now, in fact.  But the scientific pursuit of this truth has liberated me from physiological and emotional manacles before, and I know that as I continue to grow in grace, more will drop away.  And all the while I can help my brothers and sisters see the truth, and see healing in their lives.  That experience is pretty great, and I highly recommend it.

So, this Sunday morning, we’ll be hearing a sermon from these two books — the Bible and Science and Health — about the unreality of sin, sickness, and death, and the freedom that is the corresponding reality of righteousness, health, life.  There’ll also be a bit of lovely prayer and song accompanying it.  We’ll be meeting at 687 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain @10:35am; won’t you join us?  (We can be joined by phone at (605) 475-4000 x636128#.)

Always love,

grant + jpchurch

 

PS: Here’s a cute little song that talks about how to see this freedom in your life: