by George Strong
Hello again, dear friends! In our most recent Fern Lodge Focus, one article ended with our invitation for you to join us in the holy work that is Christian Science nursing. Of course, we will welcome anyone who is led in prayer to learn and practice Christian Science nursing as their calling and profession. But our invitation was for much more than that.
We have been giving regular, deep consideration of the lessons Christ Jesus shared. It seems apparent that he was giving his followers the clear, thorough, and focused teaching that would enable them, both individually and collectively, to follow his example—to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons,” just as he had been doing throughout his life.
Through the years at Fern Lodge, we have thought deeply about the place of Christian Science nursing in The Mother Church, in our branch churches, and in the individual practice of Christian Science healing, helping and healing all mankind. Of course, we have sought and found encouragement and inspiration in the Bible, and especially in the Gospel accounts of the teachings of Christ Jesus. There is much to be gained from the parable of the Good Samaritan, in Luke 10. We have prayed for ourselves to be careful of the thinking of the priest and the Levite—who were the authorities of their day—as they saw the man in need and “passed by on the other side.”
But a Samaritan, a stranger from a different culture, “had compassion on him, and went to him, pouring in oil and wine, and…brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” What’s more, he paid all the costs, and said to the host, “Take care of him, and whatever else you spend, I will repay you when I come back this way.” The final words Jesus shared in this story were, “Go and do the same.”
In Matthew, chapter 25, we learn that Jesus’ counsel was more than just a pretty good idea. Jesus says, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”
All people. All of us. What’s the difference between the sheep and the goats? Well, it’s pretty easy. Here’s what Jesus said:
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
Jesus also clearly said that there is a reward when we care for others. “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Feeding hungry people, giving thirsty people drink, taking in those who need a home, giving clothes to those who need them, caring for the sick, and visiting people in prison. Each of these simple activities are aspects of Christian Science nursing. And these are what earn us the blessing of living in “the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” I won’t say much about it here, but also in Matthew 25 we learn that refusing to give people what they need leads to condemnation: “these shall go away into everlasting punishment.”
Fern Lodge is, and always has been, dedicated to caring for others, in demonstration of God’s constant care for everyone. Recently, we’ve been thinking of Fern Lodge as a Matthew 25 facility—a place where Christian, scientific care is given in support of those who are trusting in Christian Science for healing, right now, regardless of ability to pay, regardless of length of stay.
When we invited you to join us in the holy work that is Christian Science nursing, this is what we meant: expressing Christian Science every day with simple acts of helping each other. We love serving our fellow women and men who are helped by Christian care that supports Christian Science healing. And we love everyone who supports us in our work and who cares for others in their own communities and branch churches. Thank you!!!
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