"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32

Thought for the Week - click here for last week's message 

LOVE

Probably no word in the English language is more misused. I like this definition (but can't find a source for it: "Love is the loving recognition of what is universal and true and Godlike in everything." Writers in the Old Testament as well as the New put great emphasis on the loving nature of God. For example, in Jeremiah 31:3 we read: "The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, She also Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." And in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes: '"'God is Love."

More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go." (6:17-18) But what does love mean? It is exemplified in everything Jesus Christ taught and did. Certainly it means selflessness-or the willingness to forget self in blessing others. I think it also means seeing as God sees, no matter what the material picture may suggest. Divine Love never fails. It is forever imparting goodness, wisdom, strength.

As Mrs. Eddy puts it: "Love giveth to the least spiritual idea might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud." (S&H 518:19-21) She adds: From Love and from the light and harmony which are the abode of Spirit, only reflections of good can come." (S&H 280:4-6) She also insists that "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals." (S&H 13:2-3)

In other words, God loves like the sun shines, bestowing light and warmth on everyone. Moreover, no period of darkness or separation from God's omnipresence exists. Even "The sharp experiences of belief in the suppositious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love." (S&H 322:26-30) Haven't we all learned in one way or another that we can't look to person for what God alone can give?

Moreover, as Christian Science teaches, this God is "universal, eternal, divine Love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death." (S&H 140:25-27) Godlikeness requires that we be "honest, unselfish, loving, and meek" in everything we think and do. (S&H 272:4-5) The lesson also emphasizes the comfort that God imparts, enabling us in turn to "comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." (II Cor.1:3-4)

The lesson includes Jesus' healing of two blind men who sat by the wayside begging. We read in Matthew: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth,; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Not that we have to beg anything of God, but that, as we focus on honoring and serving our Maker, we will experience the good that meets our need.

Mrs. Eddy insists (and proved in her own experience) that "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." She concludes: " ... to all mankind and in every hour divine Love supplies all good." (S&H 494:10-14) Included in the lesson is the account in Luke, Chapter 10, of the good Samaritan, who was a "good neighbor" to a man who had been set upon and wounded by thieves on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. (Luke 10:15-37) Mrs. Eddy comments: "Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching."

She adds: "The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father's loving kindness." (S&H 365:31) And concludes: "In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error,--sell-will, self-justification, and self-love,-- which wars against spirituality and is the law of sin and death." (S&H 242:30-32)

In blessing others, we have to be blessed in return. Moreover, as Paul insists, nothing "is able to separate us from the love of God." (Romans 8:38-39) Why not? Because "Divine Love is infinite.

Therefore all that really exists is in and of God, and manifests His love." (S&H 340:12)

Jamae van Eck