“Every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters”

For our third hymn we will be singing Water hymn by Vaughan & Glass, the words can be found at the bottom of this post.

This week the lesson we have been studying, which we will read in our Sunday service is on the subject “Life” and has a focus on God’s sustaining power. One passage from our Leader Mary Baker Eddy included in the lesson reads:

Millions of unprejudiced minds — simple seekers for Truth, weary wanderers, athirst in the desert — are waiting and watching for rest and drink. Give them a cup of cold water in Christ’s name, and never fear the consequences. … Those ready for the blessing you impart will give thanks. 

(Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, pg 570)

How are you giving this cup of cold water to receptive hearts today?

Water Hymn [Vaughan & Glass]

Like trees who never plead for water,
here to stand with branches opened wide,
we receive the Father’s rain of blessings.
When we trust, He will provide. When we trust, He will provide.
Like the fish living under water,
who can’t trip or tumble or fall down,
we live in our elements of Spirit.
Our support is all around. Our support is all around.
Like the birds high above the water,
soaring miles upon miles straight ahead,
We are free to soar beyond distractions.
God is here. We will be led. God is here. We will be led.
God is Lord of land and sky and water
He made all and called his work well done.
We are His, Love’s innocent reflection.
And we shine just like the sun. And we shine just like the sun.

We hope you’ll join us by the waters Sunday July 19th at 10:35 am. We will be meeting in Johnson Square park (across from the Green St. stop on the orange line) near the fountain. Or on the phone at (605) 475-4000, code: 636128#

Sermon on Life – you’re welcome to stop in!

Hi all… just a quick note to let you know that we’ll be back to our usual spot at the Eastern Bank (address and other details below) for today’s Sunday service.  If you’d like to listen in via the phone line, you still can for sure.  It’ll be wonderful to have you there, both those in person and those on the phone.  All you’ll need is your love and humility! 😉  The sermon will be focused on Life.

All love,

the good folks at the C.S. Society of JP


Details about today’s church service:
@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
(605) 475-4000 x.636128 – for remote attendees
10:35am-11:35am-ish, EST
-An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, and pure Love.

Today: God!

Happy New Year!  Check out the bottom of the post for details on location/time/call-in #.

A quick note about this morning’s Lesson-Sermon: it’s broadly on the topic of God.

More specifically, there’s a lot about praising God.  From a Christian Science perspective, it’s helpful to think about what’s being praised here.  What does Christian Science mean when it says “God”?

A few useful ways to think about God—actually, what Mary Baker Eddy (who founded the Christian Science church) names as terms synonymous of God—are these:

Principle
Mind
Soul
Spirit
Life
Truth
Love

That is… not a dude in the sky someplace.  Not an opinionated overseer.  But Life itself.  Love itself.  Spirit itself.

Just a quick little bit of food for thought!

All love, and happiest of New Years,

the JP Church clerk


Details about today’s church service:
@ Eastern Bank Community Room. 687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (map).
(605) 475-4000 x.636128 – for remote attendees
10:35am-11:35am-ish, EST
-An hour of singing, contemplative prayer, readings from the Bible and Science and Health, and pure Love.

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

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:

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:

Time for church

 

Time: It’s a drag.  It makes creation stories confusing.  The young haven’t had enough to be wise; the old have had too much to stay sane, healthy, beautiful, acive.  It separates us from happy memories and lost love.  It separates us from Jesus Christ.  It kills us all eventually.  It stifles hope, even faith.  It always wins.

Despite one of those sentences being a Pink Floyd lyric, they’re all lies.  Each one.  Because time isn’t.

Eternity is.

Our pastor will refute each of those red lies directly in our weekly Bible sermon this Sunday at church; this week’s subject is Life.  To come hear the good word (and good singing!), drop by 687 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain, MA, call (605) 475-4000 x636128, or Skype with christian.science.jp.church at 10:35 (EST) Sunday morning.

My life flows on in endless song…
How can I keep from singing?
-Robert Lowry, Christian Science Hymnal Supplement, #449

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.

LIFE.

Hi everyone, join us tomorrow for church!  We’ll be joining to pray together, sing together, and mentally take a stand for the nature of life (ours and others) as continuous, unstoppable, free — part of the one Life, God.

Featuring: our only pastor, the Holy Bible + Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.  Together, these books tell us what we need to know.

Location: It’s looking like we’ll be in our usual summer locale, Johnson Park (right across the street from the Green St. T stop on the Orange line — click for map).  However, if rain looks inevitable, we’ll default to the community room at Eastern Bank, a few blocks up (687 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130).

Blessings!

You Can’t Escape It :)

“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”

-Emerson

 

 

Guys.  Guys.  Life is a neat thing; Love is a marvel.  Stars, songbirds, flowers, ourselves… sometime we take things for granted, but God’s love is everywhere and overwhelming.  Come hear, sing, and share about God’s love for us!  We’ll be starting at 7:35 pm @ 687 Centre St., JP; we’re available via phone at (605) 475-4000 x636128.