Not only has it been a while since I “focused intently on exactly what the revelation of divine Science is”, but also I probably have been too lax in actively acknowledging that Science IS the revelation.
Depending on the moment, I take Science for granted, or don’t associate it with the term ‘revelation’ unless it’s in the Lesson or something I read. That’s not to say that I’m blasé about Science, or feeling uninspired—quite the opposite. But, I haven’t been declaring Science’s role as the Revelation. Talk about animal magnetism’s subtle way!
The references in the Assignment and the Address references have been a breath of fresh air. While reading “The Great Revelation” in Retrospection and Introspection, I’ve found myself reading each sentence very slowly to ponder Mrs. Eddy’s message. And each time I’ve come away aware that the Christ message may not always be simple to understand (probably because I make it more complex than it need be), but it sure is definitive and straightforward about the contradictions between Science and the material senses. No gray area there!
“Christian Science reveals God and His idea as the All and Only. It declares that evil is the absence of good; whereas, good is God ever-present, and therefore evil is unreal and good is all that is real” (Ret 60:11-15). So, good must be present, active and real, universally and forever. When mortal mind screams about disaster, death, destruction, devastation, sin, illness, etc—of church, mankind, relationships and so on—this is when we must declare more than ever that God is all that can be. “Infinite… over all, and All” (SH 17:14-15). This absolute Truth will be reflected in our relative expression.
I really loved reading Paths of Pioneer Christian Scientists as a supplement to the assignment. With each profile, I felt amazed by the power of the Christ message, and the very natural attraction that demonstration of it arouses.
Just the other day I caught up with a friend who told me about something a friend shared with her. It’s from a Methodist minister sometime in the early-mid 1980s, but is certainly applicable to all religious traditions 30 years later:
“United Methodism is frantically scurrying around in search of the best techniques whereby we can get new people to join our churches. We spruce up our nurseries to appeal to the baby boomlet. We train our greeters to be friendly. We create new groups to appeal to youth, to singles, to senior citizens. We develop brochures trumpeting our successes and our offerings.
“But the people are too smart for us. They aren’t going to be hooked by our secular tricks. We want their time, their talents, their money. We want them to help stave off our increasing expenses or beef up our languishing committees. But they know we don’t really want them.
“People are cracking from suffering; they are searching for meaning; they are out of their minds about illness, their children and their own directionless lives. What they don’t need is a beautiful place or a grand sermon, and while friendly people would help, they are not central to salvation.
“What our forebears believed was that to know Jesus Christ was to get breath for their lives, blood for their beings, bread for their empty souls… [Their churches] grew because knowing Christ so changed their insides and their outsides, made them so different in their hearts and their heads, that they couldn’t help but transmit that knowledge.”
Nothing’s changed! People are screaming permanent relief and healing. The power of Christ, demonstrated by healing, is the best “marketing” message we could ask for. It’s all we need. Sure, the other things like fellowship, beautiful church edifices, etc, are nice touches. But they’re just touches, not things that grab hold.
Mankind is so skeptical of hollow or vain attempts by organized religion to share a healing message—no matter how well intentioned this outreach may be. These people demand action, proof, to back-up the words—and rightfully so!
The four early workers profiled in Paths of Pioneer Christian Scientists got it—consciously or not. They were so hungry themselves for the Truth when they first found it, that it was totally natural—even if not always easy—for them to dedicate everything to helping others also find the Truth. In each case there were visible, undeniable changes that helped spread the good news. That’s what revitalization is going to take, and that’s what happens when we look “Science ‘fairly in the face”. That’s the “light above the sun.”