This quote by Mary Baker Eddy, on the future of her movement, has given me much to ponder:
“As the ages advance in spirituality, Christian Science will be seen to depart from the trend of other Christian denominations in no wise except by increase of spirituality” Miscellaneous Writings, p. 21.
I’ve watched the trend of other Christian denominations in my community, and abroad, over the decades. I’ve read books about these trends, watched TV shows, listened to popular preachers, and more, all the while listening for any truths that might be helpful to understand in my own church work in the Christian Science movement. But to be honest, I’ve always come up feeling like something was still missing.
The outward trends have been obvious, such as mega-churches swallowing up the smaller congregations, church services filled with high-energy musical performances, popular preachers, and cutting-edge use of technology. These large congregations have worked hard to meet the individual needs of members by forming small groups within themselves and dozens of special interest groups focused on specific topics such as building strong marriages, dealing with addiction, living single, and so on. The different ways churches have striven to adapt to changes in society and keep themselves relevant is mind-swirling and on-going.
Yet, Mrs. Eddy saw the future of her movement solely in terms of spirituality expressed. It seems, from her statement, that the prosperity of her church was not going to be about what the human mind could figure out to keep up with societal change. It was all about members living true to spiritual Truth! That’s it. Pure and simple. Spirituality expressed was going to be the hallmark of a prospering Christian Science movement.
Now that is a trend I can get excited about following!! I love spirituality. I love feeling spiritual, being spiritual, and living a spiritual life. Christian Science has enabled me to find real spirituality like no other teaching I’ve ever come across, and I am hungry for more.
The above quote has given me a whole new way of thinking about church. Church is not a process, a ritual or organized human action. It’s spirituality in action! This is the direction the Christian Science movement is headed, and all those who follow will be greatly blessed.