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Acknowledge Love as the law each moment!

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Monday, January 25th, 2016

[Acknowledge each moment that "Love is the law"!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Love”

for January 25-31, 2016

by Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
web address: www.christiecs.com
ccern@mac.com 720-331-9356


When I pray for someone, I often begin by deepening my sense of Divine Love surrounding this friend with loving arms. Knowing that Divine Love fills all space, I find peace and calm as I become certain that this friend (or group of people) is permanently held in a Divine embrace, encircled by our Father’s arms. My prayer is not what makes this Divine hug happen. Rather my prayer is the realization of Love’s omnipresent comfort that is already happening. The remainder of my prayer tends to be a defense of this absolute truth about Love’s care for this individual or group of people, and gratitude that this is true.

While praying in this way, I find it’s important to remember that Love is not a shapeless or wimpy power. In fact, as the Golden Text of this week’s lesson asserts,

“. . . love is the fulfilling of the law.” (GT, Romans 13:10)

As I read this week’s Golden Text, I gain awareness of the laws that give Love structure and strength. And this week’s Bible Lesson is chock-full of these laws. For me, the laws seem to fall into two main categories: 1) action-laws we can take to better understand Love, and 2) absolute truth laws about Love. And then, to make this clearer, each story offers a practical application of how understanding Love results in Love’s power being known and felt. In other words, our deeper understanding of Love’s laws results in healing.

I found it useful to follow these steps when digging deeper into this Lesson:

• Go through each section and underline the “laws” about Love

• Is the law an action/commandment that will help me better understand Love? (Mark it, “A,” for action, i.e. “Be ye therefore merciful.” (A))

• Is the law an absolute truth about Love? (Mark it “T” for truth, i.e. “your Father also is merciful.” (T))

• Examine the stories and determine which laws about Love best apply.

• BONUS #1: Write a note next to the law that is an example from your experience that substantiates it, i.e. Is there a time in which you showed mercy and felt Love’s power?

• BONUS #2: Write a note next to the story that is an example from Mary Baker Eddy’s experience that substantiates it, i.e. Do you know of a moment in which MBE showed mercy that taught you more about Love?

Following this study strategy, here’s how the Responsive Reading might look:

He that loveth not knoweth not God; (A) for God is love. (T)

We love him, (A) because he first loved us. (T)

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?

And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (A/T)

. . . Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, (A)

Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. (A)

Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (A)

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; (A)

Be ye therefore merciful, (A) as your Father also is merciful. (T)

Clearly, there are many, many laws about Love in the Responsive Reading and throughout the Bible Lesson. I find great inspiration in realizing how these many interconnecting laws form the structure and strength—the promise!—of Love’s comfort and protection and healing power.

Section 1: In the first section, we find the action-laws—commandments—that Christ Jesus says are greatest:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (A)

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (A)

Christ Jesus states clearly, that “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (B3) In Science and Health, we find statements that substantiate the value of these two commandments:

The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, — that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle. (S1)

• "The first demand of this Science is, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." This me is Spirit. Therefore the command means this: Thou shalt have no intelligence, no life, no substance, no truth, no love, but that which is spiritual. The second is like unto it, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (S2)

And the final citation in this section is an excellent example of an absolute truth (T) about Love:

• “And Love is reflected in love.” (S5)

I witnessed this Law in action recently. I had been struggling to love a woman who I saw quite frequently. Actually, for a few years, I had a difficult time with her attitude toward others and could see no reasonable justification for mean actions she took regularly. It felt unnatural to harbor this resentment, so I tried to force myself to love her, but it wasn't working. Trying with human will was not helpful, and I mostly avoided her. Finally, this past fall, I turned wholeheartedly to prayer to help me through this problem because it bothered me immensely to hold these negative feelings. In my prayer, I came to understand that while I may be struggling to love her, God loves her absolutely. On the tail of this inspiration, I had a humorous insight..."Wow! If God can love even her, He really is amazing! His love really is infinite!" With that humorous insight, I realized I had my healing...I felt nothing but kindness toward this sweet woman. I no longer struggled with loving her. I did love her because it became easy for me to feel God's infinite love for her.

Another blessing from this healing is that she became nicer and nicer. And not only toward me. Over the next month after this insight came, no fewer than five people commented to me, "Have you noticed how nice [xyz] is?" And "What do you think happened in [xyz's] life? She's become so nice..." When coordinating an end-of-the-year party, I didn't hesitate to invite her.

It's hard to prove a direct connection from my prayer to this woman's transformation noticed by several people, but it does make sense that as my love for her expanded and I better followed the action-law/commandment to "love your neighbor," that I clearly witnessed the absolute truth that "love is reflected in love." I am so grateful. (B3/S5)

Section 2: The second section contains more laws about Love, and reminds us that to follow the action-laws/commandments that lead to a deeper understanding of God—“keep his commandments”—is our “whole duty.” (B7, S6)

The action-laws continue throughout this section, and the section concludes with a practical way to work toward following these action-laws/commandments, “The habitual struggle to be always good [follow Love's laws] is unceasing prayer…Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Him; but the longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould and fashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness.” (S10)

Section 3: In Section 3, we read one of Jesus’ parables that explains us how to show our love for one another. I like the phrase, “and without a parable spake he not unto them,” (B8) which, to me, means that Jesus doesn’t give theoretical statements about Love without an explanation of how we can apply it in a practical way. In other words, the laws of Love are understandable and do-able, and always meet our daily needs.

What we see here is that the law/commandment—"love your neighbor as yourself"—given in the Bible, is actually the “test of all prayer.” In Mary Baker Eddy’s words, “The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? ... The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love.” (S15/S17)

Section 4: In Section 4, we have a clear example of an action-law/commandment (A) and how to apply it. The action-law is, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you…” [(B12)* and (B13)**]

The story that offers an example of this law being applied is in II Kings, when the king of Israel has the opportunity to punish his enemies, but Elisha the prophet encourages him to “love his enemies” by offering them food and water and freeing them to return home.

This story reminds me of a friend’s Sentinel article about forgiving and loving a bully at school. Mark Evans, former CedarS CampS Boys’ Program Director and current Simulation Engineer, shared a story about when a bully harassed him at school. Among other things, every day at lunch the bully kicked Mark under the table with soccer cleats. Mark refused to get revenge by kicking back or hating his enemy, but instead prayed to love him. Mark was inspired through prayer to a humorous solution…he wore shin guards to lunch! When the bully kicked, he got quite a surprise, which resulted in laughter. Ultimately, the two became close friends.

Mark’s story (and Elisha’s) demonstrate the absolute-truth (T) law of Love mentioned in Science and Health, “Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.” (S19) Mark’s shin guards are a humorously literal way to picture him being clad (clothed) with Love’s protection.

A few years after the lunchroom incident, Mark and I were working together at CedarS to help a camper who seemed to be struggling with feeling pushed around, and Mark shared his story with, which extended the blessing of following Love’s commandments even further. This child at camp found healing too. The idea of “love your enemies” blesses everyone. To read more about Mark’s experience, you can follow this link: http://sentinel.christianscience.com/issues/2006/5/108-20/prayer-rewards

Do you have an experience in which you applied the “love your enemies” law and saw healing? This is a good time to earn one of those “Bonuses” that I mentioned earlier.

Section 5: The fifth section opens with an absolute truth-law (T) about Love, “thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” (B17) And this absolute truth is supported with examples of when Jesus [“was moved with compassion… and healed their sick” (B19)***] and when he “had compassion” on a widow whose son had died, and raised the son from the dead. [(B20)****] Jesus expressed Love’s gracious mercy and compassion for this widow, and demonstrated the power of Love’s law.

Citations in Science and Health further explain the law of Love and that when we understand and submit to these laws, the result is healing, which is not a miracle but normal and natural. Check out these absolute laws about Love: Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need…The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love.” (S26)

A wonderful example that supports these laws of Love is recorded in Irving Tomlinson’s Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy, Amplified Edition, p. 69-71, and in Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer. During a particularly tumultuous time in Mary Baker Eddy’s life, a group of newspaper reporters was assigned to try to make Mary Baker Eddy look incompetent. Instead of arguing with them, Mary Baker Eddy asked Irving Tomlinson to call the reporters and kindly let them know that she would not meet with them; but Tomlinson was also asked to speak directly with the leading reporter. Mr. Louis Weadock, who later related this healing, was the reporter who answered the phone. He told Tomlinson that the leading reporter was very ill and literally unable to speak. He had a severe throat problem for many years, which his colleagues thought was cancer. Weadock asked the afflicted, mute, and now-angry lead reporter to listen on the phone anyway. After a few minutes of listening to Mr. Tomlinson, in what I sense was a loving and tender conversation full of compassion, the leading reporter got off of the phone completely healed, able to speak—and without the abnormal growth on his neck. Weadock and the other reporters were so impressed by this healing that they were totally swung over, no longer trying to defame Mary Baker Eddy. “They could not understand the method, but he (Weadock) said they did understand one thing, and all voiced it. If Christian Scientists were loving enough to want to heal those reporters who had come for the purpose they had, they were certainly loving their enemies and were showing a Christ-spirit far beyond anything they had ever before encountered.” (382) Weadock himself ultimately turned to Christian Science in later years for healing of “the claim of drunkenness (that) had him pretty well down and out”, and felt “he owed a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Eddy for his healing…” (Christian Healer, Amplified Edition, 378-384 and 264)

Section 6: The sixth section, for me, summarizes the connection between Love and law. Love is not wish-washy or jelly-fishy. Love is strong with structure. In fact, “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” (B21) This Bible Lesson, from showing us action-laws/commandments, and the absolute laws of Love, has reassured us of Love’s power. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Let us reassure ourselves with the law of Love.” (S30)

The whole Lesson concludes with one of my all-time favorite laws of Love, which explains that Love filling all space is enough to answer all our prayer. We read, “The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. That is enough!” (S32) This line, “That is enough!,” is an excellent amen for prayer. After we have prayed for someone, and gain a sense of settled calm that he or she is enveloped by Love’s arms, we can declare, “That is enough!”

The structure of the Lesson shows us again and again, that following the action-laws/commandments (A) about Love brings us to a better understanding about the absolute truth (T) about Love, and absolutely and inevitably results in healing.


*[W's P.S.#1 on B12, CC on Matthew 4: 44-45,
(Verse 44). “I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that that hate you.” Is Jesus just saying everyone should be helpless in the face of opposition? Or is he saying, this is your defense in opposition, and will solve the problem at hand?
(Verse 45). He says that “state of mind directly relates you and me to our Father.”
A Talk by B. Cobbey Crisler, Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, A Tax-Collector’s Report]

**[P.S.#2 on B13, CC on Matthew 7: 12
(Verse 12). The golden rule. A rule that has been the basis of almost every religion.
A Talk by B. Cobbey Crisler, Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, A Tax-Collector’s Report]

***[P.S.#3 on B19: Cobbey Crisler’s commentary on Jesus’ compassionate attitude, even as a pressured care provider, that enabled him to heal & feed so many and to walk on water…
Matthew 14: “(Verse 13, before the verse in the lesson, FYI). Jesus hearing that John the Baptist had been beheaded, decides to make himself scarce, leaves into a desert place apart.
(Verse 14). “But the multitudes followed him.” Instead of saying, “Look, will you let a man be alone for once,” he turned around with compassion and healed their sick.”
Verses 15-20, after the Lesson verse). And out comes the famous loaves-and-fishes incident in which everyone is fed, with a balance left over despite the fact that we’re dealing with thousands of people. Only the gospel of John (6:9) says it came out of a little boy’s lunch box.
He [the boy] apparently was the only one who thought that he might be interested enough in Jesus to stay beyond his supper time. But it was out of the thought of that young boy that Jesus was able to build a defeat of limitation for everyone who was there.
(Verse 21). Remember if you call it “the feeding of the five thousand,” that you are forgetting that they had forgotten, themselves, the women or the children under 20 years of age. So, if there were five thousand men there over 20 years of age, you can imagine how big “the miracle” really was. There were thousands more.”
And, right after this “(Verses 24-33) We have the walking-on-the-sea incident.”

A Talk by B. Cobbey Crisler, Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, A Tax-Collector’s Report]

****[PS#4 B20, CC on the Nain resurrection in Luke 7 is available online as a Download]


[W's P.S.#5: Horse-loving matching fund donors will match dollar-for-dollar your "Adopt the Herd" gifts to provide needed care for our wonderful herd of horses. Other needs starting with $1 items can be found and met on our Giving Tree. Every gift matters, is tax-deductible and adds up to big blessings in the lives of Sunday School students.]

[IT WOULD BE A HUGE, HUGE ANSWER TO PRAYER to have MORE MONTHLY GIFTS ONLINE which you can easily set up at https://www.cedarscamps.org/donate/?a=donate-recurring .

To discuss privately how to transfer securities or other assets or planned gifts to support and perpetuate CedarS work, you can reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by calling the Huffs or their daughter Holly Huff Bruland at 636-394-6162

or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011

THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!]


[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support.

[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ ]

[For additional "Director's Notes" on the history, development & 4 translations of CedarS weekly Bible Lesson "Mets" go to Notes in our online version of it.]

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