An article submitted as “Why Church?” by regular “Living Faith” contributor to the Sutton Coldfield Observer, Jean Jillings-Warner, was published under the title “Churches become beacons of truth and love” this week.
Many people to-day, who do believe in God, feel that church is not necessary. They say they can just as easily worship and pray on a country walk in beautiful scenery, in the quiet of their own home, or even whilst travelling or doing repetitive work. Very true, because the Bible tells us (I Thessalonians 5 v.17) “Pray without ceasing”.
So why do I feel that church is important? Because without the physical organisation I would not have received my early teaching in Sunday school. Nor would I have had the opportunity later on to study what the founder of the Christian Science church, Mary Baker Eddy, termed the Science of Christianity and find a practical understanding of God which meets my every daily need. Attending church on a regular basis means you have the love and support of like-minded people. Services give food for thought on spiritual matters, and I have always found it worth making the effort to go. Even whilst teaching, when I often felt too tired and with too much to be done to go to our Wednesday evening meeting I resisted the temptation to stay put, thinking, “Even if I can’t keep my eyes open, I’ll just ‘rest in the Lord’.” Invariably, afterwards, I felt inexplicably re-invigorated and the marking and preparation was completed in less time that I would have thought possible.
In her chief work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, defines Church in its spiritual signfication as: “The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle”. There is a lot more real church happening in the world to-day than we can recognise in church buildings. Churches are beacons of love and truth, giving hope in a changing, uncertain world – though people usually only turn to them when all other means have failed. But without our support, where would they be able to turn? Any organisation is only as good as the sum of its individual members. The ‘structure of Truth and Love’ needs our support.”