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.

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SOUL subverting body.

–> Details of the service location/time/call-in number are at the bottom of this post. <–

In a conversation I had with a friend the other day, we found ourselves thinking about the value of art.  It began with curiosity: namely, of what makes the world value art less than, say, the work of a mechanic or an accountant.  Why does our culture know the stereotype of the “starving artist” so well?  Why does it happen, not too infrequently, that an artist will be asked to share their work for free, while that would very rarely be expected of someone who fixes a leaky shower faucet or does your taxes?

There are a lot of variables at play… but, breaking it down, the most basic answer I saw was that people find something more tangible in those things.  In response, my friend pointed out that art and its value can be sort of mysterious—for instance, explaining why a piece of art is worth something can be more complex than explaining why a fixed faucet is worth something.  (And never mind trying to understand the piece of art itself, or trying to know what caused it to exist in the first place!  There’s a lot of mystery in general that surrounds art.)

It then occurred to me that one big answer would naturally be found by looking at people’s view of life and vitality.  Simply put: if you’re seeing the (material) body as the principal part of your identity, then of course, it’s only natural that the things that go towards the preservation of the body—feeding it, giving it shelter, setting it up with reliable resources – are going to have the most obvious value.

If, on the other hand, you feel the less “tangible” element of soul as being a core part of your identity—i.e. if you feel a strong connection to the parts of you that the five senses can’t locate—then you’re probably very able to identify with the value of art.  Mainly because art is, by its nature, an excavation of deep identity—of soul… or Soul, if we’re to consider this essential quality as God-like, as holy.

The thing is, we all love art, and we innately feel connected to the art we like.  I do believe that’s because this holy Soulfulness is really the fabric of who we are.  We’re just not always entirely clear how it compares to the needs of the body.

My personal takeaway from the conversation was this: every time we awe at something that art does, every time we celebrate the (supposedly) intangible beauty that lies beyond material existence, we’re actually taking a stand for Soul.  We’re putting our arms around our deep spiritual identity.

And, at the same time, we’re taking a powerful whack at mortality… at the idea that our lives are stuck inside the breaths & heartbeats of a bodily lifespan.  We’re learning that we are actually endless.

So embrace Soul!  Let yourself feel connected to it, through beauty, art, what have you.  Consciously notice that you do this.  It’ll help you see more of your immortal nature.  It’ll point you away from the body and towards health—really, towards immortality.

(And to clarify the first part of this blog post, none of this is really about what people choose to lay down cash for.  Every situation is different, after all; there’s no judgment of those decisions.  🙂  More than this, I’m interested in how that concept helps us explore our definition of identity.)

* * * * * * *

In a fine example of good timing, we’ll be considering the topic “Soul and Body” during our church service tomorrow.  We’ll hear how every blade of grass and every star is “distinct and eternal.” (Mary Baker Eddy)  You’re invited to come and pray about this with everyone in attendance, or to defend this idea in your thought from wherever you are.

Christa & JP Church


Details about tomorrow’s 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.

The “beauty of holiness”

Just letting you all know: we’ll be in our usual Sunday location tomorrow, Johnson Park, right across from the Green St T stop.  Walk past the playground & fountains; we’ll be the ones on the blankets in the grass.

OR you can call in to the service, as usual – call our conference line at (605) 475-4000, code: 636128.  We’ll get started at 10:35am EDT.

Also, here’s a thought from this week’s Bible lesson, aka sermon – this week on the topic of Soul:

This is “the beauty of holiness,” that when Truth heals the sick, it casts out evils, and when Truth casts out the evil called disease, it heals the sick.

-from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 135 – read the quote in context here), by Mary Baker Eddy.  The Bible verse she’s referencing there is Psalms 96:9.

Much love, and see you soon!

-jp church

PROMISE: church this Sunday

God’s been giving and fulfilling promises for a long time.  Most important, She’s promised to be our God if we obey Her law.  We do (though it can seem a struggle), and She is.  It’s pretty great.  The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Well, we promise that jpchurch will be having Sunday service tomorrow morning at the usual time and place: 10:35 in the community room @ 687 Centre St. in JP, with a call-in option @ (605) 475-4000 x636128.  The sermon this week is about the promises of Soul (another name for God).

Peace on your home and love in your heart.

<3, jpchurch

Love’s sweet control

Thy kingdom, God, within us
Shows forth Love’s sweet control.
God’s idea, man, rejoices;
He knows the reign of Soul.
     ~Margaret Glenn Matters, Christian Science Hymnal, #221
You and your sweet ones are invited:
  • Wednesday Potluck – 6:45pm @ 9 Seaverns Ave., JP (main dish TBD)
  • Wednesday Meeting of the Christian Science Society of JP – 7:35pm Eastern Bank community room @687 Centre St., JP.
  • Sunday Service – 10:35am –  NEW LOCATION: Eggleston square peace garden.

More JP love:

 with 1st Baptist Church, JP – June 7th, 7pm. More info