"Let us have grace"

Complaint is sometimes made by members and others who attend the services in Christian Science churches, that not all who come to these services are as considerate of the rights of those within their immediate vicinity as they should be. Sometimes this inconsiderateness is merely thoughtlessness, but it is none the less distracting. There are some who on reaching the church remain in the foyer to greet incoming friends, meanwhile indulging in conversation keyed to a quite unnecessary pitch and penetrating to the inner room; but this is not all, for it is even alleged that some persons, both at the Sunday services and at the Wednesday evening meetings, are in the habit, after they have entered the auditorium proper and seated themselves, of indulging in quite audible conversation which is entirely at variance with the spirit and intent of these occasions, and that this seriously disturbs the quiet contemplation of spiritual things which those within earshot might otherwise enjoy. It is said that in many instances there is a distinct hum of conversation, which not only goes on before the services have actually commenced, but in some cases even continues until the reading of the Lesson-Sermon is begun.

Unfortunately, many of these complaints seem to be well founded. To those who have come to church at an early hour, with the hope and expectation that they may thus have an opportunity to preface the service by a few minutes of silent preparation which will enable them to understand the Lesson-Sermon more clearly and to assimilate the teachings of the Scripture it sets forth, it is somewhat trying to be compelled to listen to a conversation of the kind referred to. The great majority of those who comprise our congregations go to the services in a devotional frame of mind, and they welcome the few minutes preceding the commencement of the regular order as an opportunity to dismiss from their thought the consideration of those material things which through force of circumstances so largely occupy their attention at other times. They look forward to these few minutes as a time for self-examination, so that they may not bring into the service itself any discordant thought or any condition of mind which would be t variance with its purpose, or which might interfere with the healing of the sick or the reform of the sinful.

Mrs. Eddy has said, on page 345 of Science and Health, "When the omnipotence of God is preached and His absoluteness is set forth, Christian sermons will heal the sick," and the truth of these words has been demonstrated many times. She has also said, on page 241 of the same book, "The substance of all devotion is the reflection and demonstration of divine Love, healing sickness and destroying sin," and our services must necessarily be filled with this sense of devotion and demonstration if they are to fulfil their mission.

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Waiting on the Lord
March 6, 1915

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