- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 4, 2007

Here are excerpts from a sermon given recently by First Reader Darrow Kirkpatrick at Third Church of Christ, Scientist in Northwest.

Millions of unprejudiced minds — simple seekers for truth, weary wanderers, thirsty in the desert — are waiting and watching for rest and drink. Give them a cup of cold water in Christ’s name and never fear the consequences. What if the old dragon should send forth a new flood to drown the Christ idea? He can neither drown your voice with its roar, nor again sink the world into the deep waters of chaos and old night.

Those ready for the blessing you impart will give thanks.

Mankind must learn that evil is not power. Its so-called despotism is but a phase of nothingness. Christian Science despoils the kingdom of evil, and pre-eminently promotes affection and virtue in families and therefore in the community.

The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural but supremely natural.

Jesus taught the way of life by demonstration, that we may understand how this divine principle heals the sick, casts out error and triumphs over death.

Though demonstrating His control over sin and disease, the Great Teacher by no means relieved others from giving proof of their own piety. He worked for their guidance, that they might demonstrate this power as He did and understand its divine principle. Implicit faith in the Teacher and all the emotional love we can bestow on Him will never alone make us imitators of Him. We must go and do likewise, or else we are not improving the great blessings, which our Master worked and suffered to bestow upon us. The divinity of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus.

Are you willing to leave all for Christ, for truth, and so be counted among sinners? No. Do you really desire to attain this point? No. Then why make long prayers about it and ask to be Christians, since you do not care to tread in the footsteps of our Dear Master? If you are unwilling to follow His example, why pray that you may be partakers of His nature? Consistent prayer is the desire to do right. Prayer means that we desire to walk and will walk in the light so far as we receive it, even though with bleeding footsteps, and that waiting patiently on the Lord, we will leave our real desires to be rewarded by Him.

If the scientist reaches his patient through divine love, the healing work will be accomplished at one visit, and the disease will vanish into its native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine. The physician who lacks sympathy for his fellow being is deficient in human affection, and we have the apostolic warrant for asking: “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”

The physician must also watch, lest he is overwhelmed by a sense of the odiousness of sin and by the unveiling of sin in his own thoughts. The sick are terrified by their sick beliefs, and sinners should be terrified by their sinful beliefs; but the Christian Scientist will be calm in the presence of both sin and disease, knowing, as he does, that life is God and God is all.

If we would open their prison doors for the sick, we must first learn to bind up the brokenhearted. If we would heal by the Spirit, we must not hide the talent of spiritual healing under the napkin of its form, nor bury the morale of Christian Science in the grave clothes of its letter. The tender word and Christian encouragement of a pitiful patient with his fears and the removal of them, are better than gushing theories, stereotyped borrowed speeches, and the doling of arguments, which are parodies on legitimate Christian Science, aflame with divine love.

What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love and good deeds. To keep the commandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper debt to Him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that He has done. Outward worship is not of itself sufficient to express loyal and heartfelt gratitude, since He has said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

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