Worship God

Men have ever sought to propitiate or influence a power which they have not even tried to understand, but which they have greatly feared, and the result has been chronicled in the pitiful idolatries of the world, in the worship of might and money, and many other things. Among the Jews, as among most other nations, worship expressed itself largely in gifts, sacrifices to God; but Christ Jesus taught that the true worship calls not so much for giving as for giving up, the willingness to part with the untrue and unideal; that it is first of all and always an attitude of thought, a grateful reverence which springs from right apprehension and love. We worship God only when we understand Him, honor His nature, are gladly obedient to His law, and gratefully accept the largess of His love. Our concept of God, and the aspiration, the longing which it awakens,—these determine ever the fitness and acceptability of our devotion. There must be a perception of the divine adorableness before the heart can bring a worthy offering; and it is just here that Christian Science effects a great change, both in the way men think of and address God and in the significance of their worship to their own experience.

Defining the purpose of his coming, and of his appeal to his brethren, the Master said, "That they might know thee the only true God." He sought to illumine that he might establish; to purify and idealize the concept, that worshipful response might be spontaneous and wholly spiritual. So too in addressing a people who had erected unnumbered temples so vast and splendid that their ruins are still regarded among the wonders of the world, St. Paul said, "Whom ... ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." He too sought to initiate a genuine devotion by correcting the thought of Deity; and this is no less distinctively true of Christian Science, which is ever reiterating the counsel of Eliphaz, "Acquaint now thyself with him [God], and be at peace."

Understanding the divine nature and relation to life, true worship becomes instinctive, a constant delight. It is the heart's natural response to that which quickens and inspires it. Normal thought can but pay loving tribute to an all-wise, all-beneficent ideality, the infinite Father, and Christian Science brings the immaculate and immutable perfection of being again into vision. It purifies and enriches the thought of Deity, that men may indeed know Him, and find in the effulgence of divine light no darkness at all, in the allness of good no trace or tolerance of evil.

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Among the Churches
April 10, 1915

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