I didn’t have to accept sickness, and didn’t deserve it

This is an interview done by the San Diego Reader’s Joseph O’Brien, June 25, 2014 with Marsha Pecaut about Christian Science Church services

Mark Patterson and Marsha Pecaut

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

Reader Marsha Pecaut: We have 26 preselected topics that we use for Bible sermons each week. We have one each week and they rotate. Some examples of these topics would be love or life (We consider both those words another name for God). There are other topics such as “God, the preserver of man,” a little bit more specific to the world’s situation. We don’t prepare the Bible sermons, though; they’re prepared for us and they are read around the world. The sermons last about a half an hour. We don’t have a professional clergy; we’re a church of laymen — no one is better than anyone else. Our readers of the Bible sermon are elected by local membership on a rotational basis. So everyone gets a turn. The Bible sermons for the week are derived from the Holy Bible and the Christian Science textbook — “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy.

SDR: What is your favorite subject to hear as a topic?

RP: Since our ministry is to feed the hungry and heal hearts, we try to get to where that light shines and the understanding comes that God who is love is all in all. I love the topic of love. In fact, love heals us. So, that’s the topic I most enjoy and use in my own private practice to minister to God’s children by being a helper a friend and a persuader of truth.

SDR: Why Christian Science?

RP: When I woke up on my wedding day, I was sick, coughing with a sore throat and fever. And it was my day! It was my wedding day! From everything I learned in Sunday school I realized I didn’t have to accept sickness, and didn’t deserve it. I believed that God would heal me as Christ Jesus taught us if we pray, listen and are humble. I knew I could experience good and be free from that feeling of disease. So I prayed. As the Bible tells us to go into a closet to pray, I went into a quiet room with wedding dress and all and…prayed. All those feelings left — and I was completely free for my wedding, during and after the ceremony. I danced; I had a joyous time.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

RP: The understanding that God is life helps convince me that eternity doesn’t begin when we die. Eternal life is now….I think that heaven and hell are not places or localities; I believe they’re states of consciousness — what we’re really thinking. So if heaven and hell are not places, then the choices we make every moment of every day and forever make my world and everyone’s world. So, if we’re choosing good, and we’re being obedient to the Golden Rule and God’s commandments, if we’re living that word of God then our thoughts are in that heavenly consciousness. On the other hand, if one continues to break God’s commandments and not follow the Golden Rule, then the sinner is going to make sin its own hell by doing evil.

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