Getting ready for work that lies ahead

The full meaning of Christian Science class instruction becomes evident to those who have "been there," so to speak—to those who have taken part in a class. But you can readily figure out some things about class instruction from looking at the Church of Christ, Scientist—and also, of course, just from asking a Christian Science teacher or practitioner about class.

This Church simply isn't the kind you join and then merely attend. For one thing there aren't any clergy, so everyone is equal and is expected to work. But the work goes much beyond the upkeep of church buildings, holding of services, and even having more of an influence in the community. Each church member is expected to be actively involved in the primary purpose of learning about and living in accord with the nature of spiritual reality. This means finding out about the nature of God's spiritual creation and man made in the image, or as the reflection, of divine Spirit. It requires learning to love God with one's whole heart and soul and mind, and loving one's fellowman very deeply and selflessly, as Christ Jesus taught (Matt. 22:37, 39).

Theoretically, you could certainly do this on your own, but the entire Church is structured to help. For example, both the Bible Lessons that you study from the Christian Science Quarterly and the Wednesday testimony meetings you attend emphasize participation. If this primary activity is foremost in a church—if people are having their sometimes sleeping spiritual understanding roused, so that they are being changed by the great spiritual idea at the heart of Christian Science, and demonstrating it—then the most important thing that can happen is happening. Individuals and church will naturally grow and be an influence in the community.

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Equal access to God
April 8, 1991

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