A pastor that is the voice of good news for all

The pastor opens the door for anyone to feel God’s presence and to hear Him speak directly to their heart.

Years ago I was healed of anorexia through learning the truth of God and His creation revealed in Christian Science, which fed my hungry heart. What liberty I found through studying the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. I discovered that Life is God, divine Spirit, not limited by matter or so-called material law, and that man, the true identity of each of us, is spiritual, the image of God. The peace that came from learning these facts enabled me first to gain strength without eating and then, step by step, to eat normally again. I felt divine Love feeding my thought with grace.

Mrs. Eddy had a deep yearning to understand the message of the Bible as God’s Word speaking to humanity in every age. This yearning was met when she discovered how Christ Jesus healed and how his healing works can be emulated today. She explained her discovery and inspiration in Science and Health for all to read and understand. She did this in deep humility and devotion to the one God, our Father-Mother, and today, through this divinely inspired writing providing insights into the Bible’s profound spiritual meaning, we are daily invited to find fresh revelation. 

I’m so deeply grateful to Mrs. Eddy for her discovery of Christian Science, her writings, and the Church she established. She took the unique step of ordaining a pastor over The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, that was not a person but two books—the Bible and the Christian Science textbook. She also designated these books as the pastor for all of the branch Churches of Christ, Scientist. 

Together these books bring a deeply spiritual message, voicing the good news across communities and nations.

Each Sunday all over the world, this pastor is preaching God’s Word to receptive hearts. There are 26 Bible Lesson-Sermon subjects that relate to progress and salvation for mankind. Each weekly Lesson (published in the Christian Science Quarterly) consists of passages from the Bible and Science and Health selected by a committee of The Mother Church. Individuals can study this Lesson throughout the week, and on Sunday the same Lesson-Sermon comprises the primary substance of the Sunday service in every Church of Christ, Scientist, and Christian Science Society around the world. 

The companioning of the Bible with Science and Health sheds light on the inspired, spiritual sense of the Scriptures, and together these books bring a deeply spiritual message to individuals and congregations, voicing the good news across communities and nations and giving a platform for the truth of Spirit to be heard and felt throughout the world. 

This way of “preaching” results in a healing church service. The pastor opens the door for anyone to feel God’s presence and to hear Him speak directly to their heart. The pastor’s preaching invites each of us to understand and experience our relationship to God—to Spirit, Truth, and Love—to recognize God as divine Principle and man as God’s spiritual idea, and to understand that we are each that man: forever complete, satisfied, and one with our divine Father-Mother. 

Each week during the church service, young people up to the age of twenty can spend precious learning time with the pastor in Sunday School. Here the pastor speaks exactly the language kids need as they and their teachers discuss foundational teachings, such as the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the Lord’s Prayer with its spiritual interpretation from Science and Health. My own children enjoyed becoming better acquainted with their pastor on Sunday and being guided by the truths in these books throughout the week in all aspects of their lives, including their schoolwork. To them, the pastor became a good friend to whom they could always turn to find fresh insights and answers and to feel comforted, loved, encouraged, and strengthened at any time, day or night.

What a gift—to me, to all of us, and to a hungry world!

At midweek testimony meetings this pastor is the source of inspired readings selected by the First Reader of each Christian Science branch church or society. Following the readings, attendees are welcome to share testimonies of healing and fresh inspiration gained from studying and practicing Christian Science. These testimonies make the Word known by sharing proofs of God’s healing power experienced in day-to-day life. 

Having this impersonal, dear pastor is, to me, the demonstration of Christ Jesus’ words: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Indeed, the pastor has helped me, and still helps me, overcome fear. It is a wonderful feeling to have the pastor available and speaking to me through healing texts, guiding and teaching through spiritual truths. This guidance is free from human opinion, intellect, or will, and is full of true love, wisdom, and authority. What a gift—to me, to all of us, and to a hungry world!

With my whole heart, I agree with what one of the early workers in Christian Science, Septimus J. Hanna, said of the weekly Bible Lesson: “I regard this method of preaching the gospel to all nations as one of the grandest achievements in religious history” (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Expanded Edition, Volume II, p. 255). We are not yet at the point when the whole world is aware of this grand achievement, but the world certainly feels its uplifting, healing, and comforting effect. It is the balm that is so needed. It guides us through the desert of material-mindedness to a safe refuge, green pastures, and the soothing, satisfying water that is Christ.

The Christ message is sometimes felt as a mighty mental stir. Science and Health says, “The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind” (p. 162). I have found that sometimes this stirring can feel pretty challenging. It might make us reconsider beliefs and assumptions we have held for years. But this has become a very important aspect to me because divine Science has made me think much more deeply and be much more aware of the unreliability of matter-based thinking. 

When I first started reading Science and Health, I often felt great mental resistance; it was so contrary to what I had learned before. But my fears and doubts prompted me to hold on even more firmly to the outstretched, loving arm of divine Love that I was feeling through this book. I was prompted to pray more earnestly for God to give me a “new heart” that would enable me to understand what Truth was revealing to me and to get rid of blinding beliefs and personal will. 

Sometimes, the more I had to struggle to understand, the more clearly came the precious sweetness and assurance of Spirit. Truth was becoming real substance to me, and I felt strengthened in a way that nothing else—no material means or personal effort—could have done.

I’m so deeply grateful for how the heavenly message of the pastor has transformed me and for the fact that divine Love pours forth each day exactly the right truths to feed my hungry heart—and everyone else’s, too. What I’ve found is available to all through what Mrs. Eddy discovered and named Christian Science and through the Church she established. When she ordained the Bible and Science and Health as pastor, she wrote that “. . . they will continue to preach for this Church and the world” (Manual of The Mother Church, p. 58). 

This pastor will continue to preach the divine Word that is able to “enrich the affections of all mankind,” preaching for a church that is “healing and saving the world from sin and death; thus to reflect in some degree the Church Universal and Triumphant” (Manual, pp. 41, 19).

You are not matter
March 13, 2023

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