God's Church Within

What does Church really mean to me as an individual? What unique role does it perform in my life that nothing else can? Do I recognize Church as an essential for full living, or do I see it merely as an extra option? We do well to ask ourselves questions like these and to stay with them until we have honest answers. And we also do well to repeat this exercise from time to time—to ask ourselves whether in the light of further human development and spiritual growth our earlier answers are still valid or whether they need to be filled out and deepened.

All of us have certain focal points in our lives. Home, the center of family affections, the base from which we go out to meet the world and to which we return for refreshment. School, where we receive our formal education. Place of work, where we earn our livelihood. Perhaps clubs for our recreational, cultural, or social interests. And Church—what does Church offer us and what does it ask of us that is specifically its own?

Church is seen outwardly as a God-impelled but human institution with organization and edifices. Of her first church links Mary Baker Eddy records, "I became early a child of the Church, an eager lover and student of vital Christianity." Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 32; Today the young Christian Scientist may think of the church institution as providing Sunday School and his first lessons in the practice of spiritual healing or later his Christian Science college organization. To the older Christian Scientist the institution may mean church services and membership with its varied activities; and it will certainly mean the opportunity to participate in the healing ministry of Church.

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A Stone Called Ebenezer
June 5, 1976

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