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

Thought for the Week - last week's message 

LOVE 

We read in I John 4:16: “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him.”   Again, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love.”  (I John 4:8)   The trouble is that the term “love” has been so degraded, so misunderstood, so misused that it is difficult to arrive at a clear understanding of what it really means.   

Here is a simple definition that I have enjoyed for many years:  “Love is the loving recognition of what is universal, and true, and Godlike in everything.”  The beloved disciple John states it simply:  “He that loveth not knoweth not God;  for God is love. (I John 6:8)  He goes on to ask:  “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar:  for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”  (I John 4:20)   We are also assured by John that “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.”  One definition for fear is “false evidence appearing real.” 

The Psalmist uses the term: “lovingkindness” to define God and insists that divine lovingkindness and truth are what preserve us.  (Ps. 40:11)   We could conclude then, that hatefulness and falsity are what do us harm.   Our foremost aim must be to stay “rooted and grounded in Love” and to “know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” in order to be “filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph.3:17-19)   Mrs. Eddy put it simply:  “`God is Love.’ More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go.”  (S&H 6:17-18)  

She also insists that “No power can withstand divine Love.”  (S&H 224:31) The lesson includes the account in I Samuel, Chapter 6, of David’s refusal to harm Saul (who with 3,000 soldiers was seeking to locate and kill David).  His response to the King was simply:  “the Lord delivered thee into my hand to-day, but I would not stretch forth mind hand against the Lord’s anointed.”  (I Samuel Chapter 26).   (The outcome was that David was anointed King.)  

Mrs. Eddy comments:  “Christian  Science commands man to master the propensities—to hold hatred in abeyance with kindness, to conquer lust with chastity, revenge with charity , and to overcome deceit with honesty.”  She warns that these errors unchallenged comprise an “army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success.”  (S&H 405:5-11)   She also insists that “Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom.  Love is enthroned.  That evil or matter has neither intelligence nor power is the doctrine of absolute Christian Science, and this is the great truth which strips all disguise from error.”  (S&H 454:9-13)  

Surely we’ve all had proof that “Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way.”  And that “Right motives give pinions to thought and strength and freedom to speech and action.”  (S&H 454:18-21)   Jeremiah puts it this way:  “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love…For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds…” (Jer.30:17 and 31:3)    Mrs. Eddy  also cautions that human will “…is destructive to health, and is the cause of disease rather than its cure.” (S&H 445 24-26) The demand on us, she writes, is to “come out from the material world and be separate.”  And that: “Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching.”  (S&H 451:2i)   The lesson includes passages from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount insisting that we  love our enemies and bless them that curse us, doing good to them that hate us.  (Matt. 5:9-12, 43-48) 

In other words, we are to manifest the same unselfishness, the same spirituality or goodness Jesus did.  We too must take up any cross and let Love triumph over hate, just as did the apostle Paul who was hatefully stoned by the Jews but rose the next day.  This accords with the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation or object;  that joy cannot be turned into sorrow…;  that good can never produce evil;  that matter can never  produce mind, nor life result in death.” 

She continues:  “At all times and under all circumstances overcome evil with good…Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.  The cement of a higher humanity will unity all interests in the one divinity.”  (S&H 303:30-15 and 571:15)  As she writes:  “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