In considering the matter of church membership, whether it be membership in The Mother Church or in a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, it is well to ponder just what this action signifies from the standpoint of the individual. When one joins either The Mother Church or a branch church, is he not publicly expressing, in a very understandable way, his gratitude for the benefits he has received from Christian Science? Gratitude, then, is an important motivating impulse behind one's action in applying for such membership.

In Malachi we read (3:10), "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." It is helpful to weigh this Bible passage in the light of two references from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. The first of these is a portion of the definition of "tithe" as found on page 595: "homage; gratitude." The second is found on page 3 and has to do with gratitude—the tithes that must be brought into the storehouse. Here Mrs. Eddy writes: "Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech." Jesus was a man of prayer, but the outcome of his prayers was gratefully exemplified in healing works.

May 8, 1954

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