Noting the boredom on the faces of two visitors to his late-teens Christian Science Sunday School class, the teacher began by asking: "What do you think we would do if Christ Jesus came walking down the road outside as we walked up it—not dressed in a robe, with flowing hair and beard, but as well dressed by today's standards as he was in his day?" Then he answered his own question, somewhat along the following lines: "If our eyes were turned to the gutter, we would never even see him. But if we looked at him, we'd probably do what many did in his day—be immediately amazed. I feel sure I would think, Who's that? What is it he has? Where is he going? And why? because I would be seeing the most perfect expression of real manhood the world has ever known—so full of grace, light, intelligence, spiritual power, and love that one could not ignore him—without Jesus' saying a single word. If that is worth learning about, then stay. It's up to you." They stayed.

The fuller explanation of what, from the Christian Science point of view, true manhood means in today's world is something any Christian Scientist longs to give to relatives, friends, and neighbors. But he or she knows proselytizing would not help. Three things are needed: the right opportunity; the right and inspiring words, not easy to find; and above all an ear willing to listen. To give even a loaf of bread requires someone to accept it. So it is with ideas. In Jesus' day there were those whose minds were so firmly shut that they would not listen even to the Master himself. We could invite each other to visit our respective gardens, but unless we accepted and stayed awhile, we would miss the ideas, roots, and cuttings we might at least take home to add to the beauty of our own gardens.

The Christ spiritualizes the creed
February 18, 1985

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