Response 1: Rebecca Odegaard
Christ Jesus declared that “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few” (Luke 10:2) and then instructed that we pray to God for more laborers, — not because the labor is great, but because the harvest is!
The harvest, or yield, from working in church must be the innumerable blessings that come to us by way of selflessness, increased patience, forgiving love, and the pure joy of serving God.
Praying together, the essential work of church, tends to file away our rough edges, exposes human will as useless, and polishes up and reveals the true image and likeness we are as God’s children. Serving church brings this out, because it is our love for God that impels such giving, and its profit is transformation.This is the real result of church work; it provides an opportunity to prove the Truth we love by practicing it. “ churches are laboratories of Truth, spreading the good news of divine, scientific achievement” (Christian Science Sentinel, “Christian Science Healing and the Individual,” July 22, 1950).
What is the achievement of Church? The “Glossary” describes that it proves its utility by “elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas, and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils or error, and healing the sick” (see Science and Health, p. 583).
Participation in this magnificent good isn’t something that we need to necessarily encourage in others, but something we embrace so deeply as we are serving that others observe it through the love apparent in our approach and in our actions. It’s irresistible.
Our real church work is to see and know that each and everyone is completely secure in God’s kingdom. Everyone is placed by God in this harvest field, so we needn’t track what others are doing, but rather, support the fact that each is being shown what to do. “They also serve who only stand and wait,” Mary Baker Eddy quoted and recommended her students to adopt (The First Church of Christ Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 224). This is the generous love that stirs every heart to action as God directs. It is the same love that enabled Jesus to proclaim, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30). Serving God and loving one another within the context of church work is a privilege and a joy. Not one is forever denied the benefit of this great harvest.
Response 2: Mark Swinney
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits,” says the Bible (Ps. 68:19). Through quiet prayer, we allow God to show us that His immeasurable goodness is already with us. Because God’s allness permeates everything we are and do in our church work, we can wait patiently on Him and trust Him completely with every aspect of our well being while working actively as members.
When Jesus calmly fed a multitude with a few loaves and fishes, he organized his twelve disciples to help pass out the food. Twelve doesn’t seem like very many people, yet they got the job done. When everyone was filled, Jesus asked that the uneaten food would be collected in baskets. There were twelve baskets in total. So, while everyone in the multitude got a piece of bread and a piece of fish, it was the disciples—the ones doing the serving—who got the biggest helpings! They each got a whole basket of food.
When you serve in church, be sure to bring a big basket each time. Be prepared to have it filled by the Christ, Truth—and, therefore, filled to overflowing with inspiration. Nothing can interfere with your commitment to serving God and His children, and nothing can interfere with God’s care in meeting every need for you and your fellow church members. It is well to know that the power of God’s presence, the spirit of the Christ within, lovingly and abundantly brings out in you divine purpose, activity, and achievement.