Category Archives: Theology

Loving Jesus

With the Easter season upon us, as a Christian Scientist I have been giving extra thought to why I love Jesus.

And with that in mind, I’d like to share here, for my readers, this thoughtful piece by a colleague of mine – Tim Mitchinson from Naperville, Illinois – who expressed it so well, sharing how he has found his love for Jesus to be very practical.

Writing in the Peoria Journal Star, he says succinctly – and knowing Tim,  sincerely – “I love Jesus.

Tim Mitchinson (Photo courtesy of Tim Mitchinson)

He continues, “…I stand in wonderment of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection as actual events that have great meaning for all of us today.”

He shares how he has found meaning from this in personal growth and in service,  becoming more forgiving, with healing bringing a return to health.

His last paragraph summarizes it all very nicely, and his article is a wonderful “read” at this Easter season, which I heartily recommend.

Click the title to read this article: Loving Jesus

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Remembering the “thankful TO” part

Here’s a thoughtful piece from Health writer and colleague Eric Nelson of Petaluma, California, writing about what he’s thankful FOR and what he’s thankful TO.

(©Glowimages/stock photo)
(©Glowimages/stock photo)

 

Thanksgiving: An attitude of gratitude that inspires health

It was a moment that literally stopped me in my tracks.

Eric Nelson
Eric Nelson

As I was walking through San Diego’s Balboa Park — the Spreckels organ pavilion to my back, the Museum of Art to my front — I found myself suddenly overcome by an almost overwhelming rush of gratitude…

Even better than having so many things to be thankful for, however, was having something to be thankful to.

Read the entire article on Communities Digital News here:
Thanksgiving: An attitude of gratitude that inspires health 

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GUEST POST: Adult autistics – are they doomed to solitude?

Here’s a very thoughtful article by my colleague Karla Hackney published earlier this week in the Oregonian.

Karla Hackney (picture courtesy of Karla Hackney)
Karla Hackney (picture courtesy of Karla Hackney)

Seldom heard are the stories of autistic adults.  And rarely do they report the challenges of those who seek companionship. It’s believed that autism blocks the ability to intercommunicate and express feelings in a normal way.  These difficulties often relegate those diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to solitude.  And yet, like us all, those diagnosed as on the Spectrum deeply wish to love another.

We may think of our own relationships as pertaining to the heart, but for solutions in the field of ASD, research has focused predominantly on the brain.

Click here to read the rest of the article…

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Christian Scientists gather in Boston at denomination’s annual meeting; ponder the relevance of church

By:  Richard Evans, Manager, Christian Science Committees on Publication

Boston, MA — When Christian Scientists convened in Boston, Massachusetts, Monday, June 6, for the annual meeting of their denomination, they faced a question that many mainline Christian churches also confront: can church be relevant today?

CS church edifice with attribution

Their perspective on this question—as on just about everything else—runs counter to the popular narrative. “There’s a universal hunger for the heartfelt experience of God’s saving power,” said Margaret Rogers, chairwoman of the five-member lay board of directors of the Church of Christ, Scientist, which has its worldwide headquarters in Boston. “The demand,” she said, is for a church “that is vibrant with unselfed love and actively engaged in authentic Christian healing for humanity.”

For most Christian Scientists, this doesn’t seem to mean better outreach or new ministries and programs. It means drilling down on the thing they feel they bring to the world: spiritual healing, based on the teachings of Christ Jesus, that is expected to be both humane in spirit and effective in results. “We pray,” explained another director, Allison W. Phinney, “because prayer aligns us with how things really work. It lets us see and feel more of the immense good and the divine Love that’s actually here for us and for humanity.”

Founded 137 years ago by religious leader Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science Church is a Christian denomination based on the Bible. While relatively small in numbers, the denomination has branch churches in more than 60 countries and has had an outsized impact on Christian thought by its insistence that God’s goodness brings not only salvation from sin, but healing of illness and suffering.

The group’s diversity is seen among some of the new officers announced at the meeting. The new church president is Annu Matthai of Bangalore, India. The new First Reader—who conducts Sunday worship and Wednesday testimony meetings at The Mother Church in Boston—is Louis E. Benjamin of Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The new Second Reader is Diane Uttley Marrapodi of Forest Hill, Maryland, USA. Many church members travelled to Boston for Monday’s proceedings, while more followed the meetings live online.

The theme of this year’s meeting—“Church: ‘healing and saving the world’”—comes from Mary Baker Eddy’s view that Christ Jesus’ original Christianity has deep relevance for the world and its future, and that church must be a practical force for good in daily lives, bringing hope and spiritual progress for humanity. One small symbol of this is the planned renewal of the Christian Science plaza in Boston’s Back Bay. The outdoor spaces surrounding The Mother Church will be updated to better benefit the community as an environmentally sustainable oasis in the midst of the city. A longer-term commitment of the denomination has been publication of The Christian Science Monitor, an international news outlet providing daily and weekly news, online and in print—news that is intended to bring light, rather than heat, to the important issues of the day.

Members at the meeting reported on activities in their regions, as well as provided examples of healing from around the world.

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Experiencing resurrection step by step

Sunlit field with Resurrection quoteLife is a journey that doesn’t end with death.

This was one of the consensus views shared by some panelists while discussing choices in end-of-life care at the Mid-Michigan Health Spiritual Care Conference in January. One panelist even mentioned resurrection, which got me to thinking more deeply about the connection between resurrection and choices–not just at end-of-life, but choices made throughout daily life.

Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he told Lazarus’ sister Martha, “Thy brother shall rise again.” Jesus said further, “…he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:23-25)

What did Jesus mean by that? Was he implying that everyone who believes in Christ, or understands Jesus’ teachings, would experience a resurrection in some way? If so, then as radical as this may seem, ultimately, resurrection is for everyone. Maybe not exactly a return to life on earth as in the case of Lazarus, but perhaps in experiencing a new and more spiritual sense of life as immortal, without beginning or end – without death.

Perhaps it’s a little like graduating from school – usually, the culmination of much effort over many years. And this effort to become more aware of immortal being includes learning to make good choices – in how we think and act – on a daily basis. Moses said, “See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; … therefore choose life…” (Deuteronomy 30:15,19). He linked choosing good with choosing life.

One example of doing this, is not only to treat patients in end-of-life situations with dignity and compassion as the conference panelists advised, but to treat everyone with dignity and compassion throughout daily life. Choosing good can also include being honest, unselfish, and decent. Also, being patient and forgiving, and loving others unconditionally.

Christ Jesus’ life was a model of choosing good every moment. Was this why he was able to raise the dead? From his teachings, it is apparent that he knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that life – everyone’s life – is eternal. His death by crucifixion and subsequent resurrection proved this fact. And, for the great suffering and sacrifice he endured to give us this proof, I and many others are immensely grateful. Doesn’t it behoove us to make the most of it by following his example of consistently choosing good?

By making daily choices for good thoughts and actions, we’ll land in the group St. John called “they that have done good,” whom he said would “come forth . . . unto the resurrection of life.” (John 5:29) This continual choosing of good draws us closer to realizing life eternal.

Each choice for good, therefore, is essentially a step in that direction, and, in a way, a little bit of resurrection. And this can be done by all, gently, with grace, until – wherever and whenever – we come to see clear as day that life truly is eternal.

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