Sharing God's Love
May 1, 2003
no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
Our readings helped us get clear the basis in Science for sharing God's Love. It's the oneness and allness of God, or Love, reflected by man and the universe. While love and hate, sin, sickness and death seem to move mortals — it's all illusion. What's really up is the preexistent perfection of being animating God's individualized reflection, man.
Keeping that in mind, we were free to range widely (and a bit wildly) over the news landscape. Here's what came up.
1) Rick Santorum graced the news media with his views on homosexuality: equating it to polygamy, incest, and "man-on-dog". Jay Leno reminded us that Mr. Santorum said he had no problem with homosexuality, but just did not understand homosexual acts. "Maybe he's doing it wrong."
Senator Santorum may be on to something, however. Americans do not have an unlimited right to privacy. We can't murder or manufacture illegal drugs in the privacy of our homes.
The Texas sodomy case which occasioned Mr. Santorum's comments was argued before the Supreme Court not only on right to privacy grounds but also on the basis of our rights to equal protection before the law. Legal experts, including our own in-house one, feel this latter basis, if sustained, could prove far more devastating to anti-Gay legislation around the country — undermining, if not sweeping it away then and there.
We were able to place the emergence of homosexuality in popular thought and action within the context of God's wholeness as male-female reflected by us all. As Margaret Laird puts it, sex's "reason for being [is] the male-female divinity of each individual I." (Christian Science Re-Explored, p. 223) And to put it mildly, it can be a great way to share God's love.
2) The SARS crisis seems to have been contained by rapid international cooperation. The oneness of Mind symbolized in globalization can, if not kept spiritual, result in counterfeits, i.e., diseases and their cures. Contagion is a form of sharing — a point made bluntly by the supposed origins of the latest disease in the proximity of humans and animals in Southern China. The sword of Science, however, is fierce and gleaming: our oneness is not established in matter and its malfunctions but in God — the one I that we all share.
3) The world economy is said to be weak. Those Asian areas which were predicted to pull us all out of the slump are paralyzed by SARS. Meanwhile, Japan, Europe and Latin America hobble along and the US is overdue for a sharp reduction in consumer demand.
To evaluate this in Science we started with the strong interdependencies and cause-effect links — i.e., sharing. Rather than seeing it as sharing economic strengths and weaknesses, we sought to bring the idea of sharing God's love into the mix. The One that constitutes the source, condition and action of the whole system is all-good and can smooth the ups and downs of fear and greed into a wholesome unfoldment of divine purpose.
Members then described examples from the week of sharing God's love.
1) At his gym, one member found the handle of a machine he was going to use had not been placed in its cradle but allowed to flop haphazardly. He thought, "How inconsiderate." Immediately he realized he would not know it was inconsiderate if he himself were not in some cases also quite inconsiderate. This is standard psychology and of course good Christianity. "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (Matthew 7:3)
Later he took one 5-lb weight and one 3-lb weight to do some rotator cuff warm-ups. The weights came from racks at opposite ends of the gym. When he finished he quickly put both weights back where he had gotten the 5-lb weight. As he walked away something went off in his thought and said, "How inconsiderate." Yes, there it was. He picked up the 3-lb weight and schlepped it back to its proper rack. This impersonal act of sharing God's love gave him a sudden jolt of joy!
2) Another member dropped by one of New York's most famous acting schools to audit a couple of classes. As he did so he was invited up and given instruction in swordplay. Later in an acting class he got to talk to the teacher and students afterwards and got a book from one of them called Betrayal Of God: Christianity's Corporate Sabotage Of Jesus And His Spirit, by John Cord. It has lots in it about the extremes of the clerical assault on LGBT folk and some themes that approach Science in their clarity.
3) A member who's been coming to our meetings for several months said he's beginning to feel less fear and anxiety. This week he got his first copy of Science and Health. Since he's a great student of scientific thought and both reads and writes science fiction we're all looking forward to how Mrs. Eddy's insights and visions will impact his own outlook.
4) Another member had some problems with the rent statement and payment on his apartment. He called the building manager and left a message. There was no return call, so he felt he should pray for everyone concerned — the owners, managers, accountant and himself. Still no return call. Finally he prayed in infinite mode: "Everyone in the universe is supported and supplied by God." The phone rang and the problems were quickly resolved.
5) Another member is taking some drugs prescribed by a doctor. He wants to be free of them but the problems that seem to have required the drugs in the first place still show up on medical tests. Members rolled the problem around a bit. We've certainly had many people at our meetings over the years who are taking drugs, but we did recall one who was taking an AIDS cocktail and was able to get off a really debilitating part of the regimen after talking to a Christian Science teacher in depth about his spiritual identity. One member felt perhaps the goal of getting off drugs could be subsumed in the understanding that health and well-being are spiritual, whether we're taking or not taking drugs.
6) Another member found himself in a conversation with a creative person whose theatrical and dance ideas are striking but "all over the place." What's lacking is a business plan and funds to carry out projects. There was little advice our member could offer in the arts area, nor did he feel it was appropriate to introduce Christian Science as useful in the circumstances. What he could and did do was look for — and find — the divine core of this energetic man and support the emergence of this to take over all aspects of his creativity — including fruition.
Over the next two weeks we'll take up the topic Body. Notes on our meetings on this topic will go up on or about May 17th.
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?
People go into ecstasies over the sense of a corporeal Jehovah, though with scarcely a spark of love in their hearts; yet God is Love, and without Love, God, immortality cannot appear. Mortals try to believe without understanding Truth; yet God is Truth. Mortals claim that death is inevitable; but man's eternal Principle is ever-present Life. Mortals believe in a finite personal God; while God is infinite Love, which must be unlimited.
Our theories are based on finite premises, which cannot penetrate beyond matter. A personal sense of God and of man's capabilities necessarily limits faith and hinders spiritual understanding.
All nature teaches God's love to man, but man cannot love God supremely and set his whole affections on spiritual things, while loving the material or trusting in it more than in the spiritual.
At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you. The cement of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.
Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.
Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul.
When will the world cease to judge of causes from a personal sense of things, conjectural and misapprehensive! When thought dwells in God,—and it should not, to our consciousness, dwell elsewhere,—one must benefit those who hold a place in one's memory, whether it be friend or foe, and each share the benefit of that radiation. This individual blessedness and blessing comes not so much from individual as from universal love: it emits light because it reflects; and all who are receptive share this equally.
Until he awakes from his delusion, he suffers least from sin who is a hardened sinner. The hypocrite's affections must first be made to fret in their chains; and the pangs of hell must lay hold of him ere he can change from flesh to Spirit, become acquainted with that Love which is without dissimulation and endureth all things. Such mental conditions as ingratitude, lust, malice, hate, constitute the miasma of earth.