Our Attitude before Services

The book of Ecclesiastes is rich in counsel for the ordering of our daily lives. The first seven verses of the fifth chapter may be applied to our attitude in attendance at church. In these verses, the respect and reverence that should characterize the actions and motives of those who approach the house of God are indicated: "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give. ... Let thy words be few. ... For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God." The reverent attitude is that of quiet and earnest thought. Irreverence, a state deplored by the writer of Ecclesiastes, points to a lack of such thought.

When attending the Sunday services, Wednesday evening testimony meetings, or lectures, in The Mother Church or one of its branches, we may well follow the above advice and keep watch over our thoughts. No sense of crowding human activities or cares should be allowed to enter the church with us to rob us, and perhaps others, of rightful attention and its fruitage. Creation belongs to God, and divine Principle is to be relied upon for the harmony of our homes, children, friends, business. Confidence in God enables us to empty our thought of all that is unlike God. Then, freed through reverence, we draw near to hear the spoken word of Truth. Those who approach church prepared to listen attentively are active partakers in the service, benefiting and being benefited by it.

We go to church primarily to hear the Word of God. We do not go to see our friends, for conversation, or to make social or business engagements. The exchange of fellowship is sweet and helpful, but it should be kept in its right place and not be made the governing impulse in our church attendance. We go to hear, and thoughtful attention should enable us to hear well. We go to give, and gratitude will furnish us with spiritual gifts. Daydreaming and idle words, classed by the Preacher as "divers vanities," have no place in church. Shunning such squandering of his mental powers, the alert worker finds his thinking active and effectual, because such would-be mental intrusions have been definitely handled. Reasoning on the basis that God is the only Mind and that man, God's idea, reflects Mind, we know that man is forever actively receiving from God constructive thoughts. Therefore, at all times, including before a church service or lecture, we should let our thoughts be directed aright through orderly prayer, declarations of the truth, thanksgiving.

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February 2, 1935

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