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Vital growth! – Annual Meeting
Out of adversity grows victory. The challenges we face compel us to outgrow the beliefs of materiality and to grow into an understanding of our inherent freedom as children of God. Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The condemnation of mortals to till the ground means this, — that mortals should so improve material belief by thought tending spiritually upward as to destroy materiality” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 545 ).
The growth of a plant begins with a seed. The seed of spiritual growth and healing is the seed of Christian Science.
Compared to all the seeds of material belief, the seed of Christian Science can seem very small—insignificant really. In his parable of the mustard seed, Jesus pointed out that the least of all seeds, “when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof” (see Matthew 13:31, 32 ). One small seed of truth will become a tree.
A seed doesn’t sprout sitting on a table. It needs to be put into soil, tucked into our innermost thoughts and desires. What prepares thought and nurtures spiritual growth and healing? Eddy in her article “The Way” gives three conditions: self-knowledge, humility, and love (see Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, pp. 355-359 ).
Self-knowledge involves eliminating the stubborn weeds of habit, opinion, self-righteousness, and self-satisfaction, which would close thought to the deep blessings of Love. They aren’t native to us. We can pull these weeds out so the seed will bear fruit.
The seed of spiritual growth and healing is the seed of Christian Science.
Humility moves us forward. “Humility is no busybody: it has no moments for trafficking in other people's business, no place for envy, no time for idle words, vain amusements, and all the et cetera of the ways and means of personal sense” (Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 356-357 ). We are to minister to others. Humility is indispensable to our growth.
Love both nurtures growth and is the growth itself. Faith, hope, and love nourish us. As we feel the love of Love and grow in that love, we will heal ourselves and others.
With self-knowledge, humility, and love, the seed of Christian Science springs up and grows in our lives. Individual growth is like the growth of a leaf which develops into a twig and then a branch. Each healing blesses and uplifts all. Church as an institution (an established practice) is an outcome of individual spiritual growth and healing.
Join with the Christian Science Board of Directors and other officers to continue the conversation. “Small seeds … vital growth: A Church rooted in healing” is the theme of Annual Meeting 2013. The meeting will be video webcast online only Monday, June 3, at 1 p.m. Boston time, and will last approximately 90 minutes. The replay will be available within 24 hours. We will listen together to reports from the officers and the Field about progress, both individual and in branch churches.
Co-manager, Annual Meeting 2013