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Cherish your tender relationship with Divine Love: 
What Love is, what it does and what that means for all of us
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Love”
for study during the week of January 25-31, 2010
by Phebe Telschow, C.S.,  of  St. Louis, Missouri  [with 6th section bracketed italics by Warren]

[Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week and the Possible Sunday School Topics that follow are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free — in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. Soon a free German translation will be available again from Helga. SIGN UP at]

Ah, love. Poets, musicians, artists, filmmakers, philosophers, theologians, and just about everybody else has been trying to define love for a long, long time. The Bible and Mrs. Eddy help readers to understand that God is Love – that indeed God is our ever-present, all-powerful, all-wise Father-Mother.
The ancient Greeks didn't recognize one God, let alone see that God is Love. Maybe that's why they ended up with so many different terms to describe the kinds of things that they thought of as love. A number of these terms for love were used in the original text of the New Testament because much of the original text was written in ancient Greek and later translated into English.   
Let's take a quick look at three ancient Greek terms for love that appear in the New Testament. As we go, open your Science and Health to pages 115-116 and look at Mrs. Eddy's “Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind” and see if you can relate each of these terms to a particular level in that translation. That may lend additional clarity to the definitions below, and help to lead thought from a purely physical concept to a more spiritual view of love. 
Éros (έρως érōs) is generally used to describe physical passion or sensual so-called love and longing.  You might recognize éros as the root of our modern word, “erotic”.  (Can you see the connection between this term and all the things that Mrs. Eddy lists on the First Degree on page 115?) 
Philia (φιλία philía) usually refers to the kind of love you have with your family and friends. Philia is full of morality and is the kind of brotherly love that includes compassion and loyalty not only for family, but also for community, and humanity in general. 
Agápe (αγάπη agápē) Agápe is usually regarded as the word that describes a more spiritual kind of love.  Agápe is how/what we feel when we have a good clear understanding of God's love. We can best express agápe with what Mrs. Eddy would call “unselfed love” which she puts alongside a spiritual understanding of God as essential for effective prayer and healing. (See Science and Health, p 1:1). 
You may have heard that old story that says, “Give someone a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime.” This old story kind of illustrates the difference between philia and agápe. Philia is essential and meets human needs in very helpful and practical ways. It's the kind of love that rightly impels good deeds and makes us so happy to share good things with our neighbor. 
But agápe is what we feel when we really understand that God is the one infinite, and ever-present, completely trustworthy source of all love. Agápe is the kind of love that helps us see that good doesn't actually need to come through or in the form of matter, i.e. through a person or a thing or any kind of physical sense. Rather, all good actually comes directly from God to each one of His beloved children in the form of spiritual understanding and right ideas that help, heal, uplift, comfort, guard, guide and truly bless. 
To be clear:  in the same way that there's only one God, there's only one Love. God gets expressed in lots of different ways, and so does Love. Being aware of what caliber of love we're looking at helps us more clearly identify and understand the presence, power, activity and effect of the Love that is God. 
Speaking of the caliber of Love, you will see an unmistakable and descriptive thread of God's tender mercies running throughout the lesson this week. As you read, you might find it interesting to keep a running list of the things that divine Love is doing: i.e. how it tenderly Mothers and Fathers all of us, how it comforts, and provides mercy, ensures justice, and so on. It should be a pretty long list by the end of the week!  Leave some room to also make note of what it takes for us to fulfill the law of Love. You'll notice lots about that in this lesson as well. 
Start your list of what divine Love is and what it does with the beautiful description in the Golden Text and the Responsive Reading. As always, be sure to “take the inspired word of the Bible” (S&H 497:3) and “resolve things into thoughts” (S&H 269:14) as you read those scriptural texts.  When you read the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings, remember you're not just reading words, you're reading the meaning.
Section 1: 
The Covenant is the basic term for the contract or loving agreement between God and the Children of Israel. The basic terms of the Covenant provide that if the Children of Israel are faithful to the 10 Commandments and the laws of God, and obey, honor and worship God alone, then God will care and provide for and protect the Children of Israel. (Who are the Children of Israel – then and now? What does it mean to be a “Child of Israel” then and now? Can you identify yourself as one of the Children of Israel?) 
(B-2) This passage from Jeremiah was written at a time when the Children of Israel had not done a good job of holding up their end of the Covenant. As a result, things weren't going well in Jerusalem. In fact, at that time Jerusalem had fallen to the Babylonians, and a great number of the best and brightest among the Children of Israel were taken back to Babylon. The folks who remained in Jerusalem were called “the remnant.”  Despite the terrible turmoil, this passage from Jeremiah affirms that God is the Father of the Children of Israel, and He will always love and care for them no matter what.  
In case we're tempted to think that a passage like this indicates that God irrationally punishes man, just remember that we're the ones making choices about the caliber thoughts that we're including in our experience, and our thinking has a lot to do with our actual experience. If our thoughts include good ingredients like faithfulness, integrity, and the things we find on the Second and Third Degree on S&H pages 115-116, then we're likely to have much better results than if our thoughts are hovering around the First Degree. (Garbage in,  garbage out.)   Having said that, remember that success in life isn't nearly so much about what happens to us, as it is about what we DO with what happens to us. Just ask our good friend Paul, who we'll be reading about for the rest of the lesson. 
Section 2:
(B-6)  Here's the story of how a man named Saul worked his way through the entire span of the Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind (S&H 115-116). The process transformed his name and nature and he ended up taking the new name of Paul. Think of that glorious light (inspiration) of Love on the road to Damascus that literally wiped this man's vision clean and taught him to see with new eyes – with his God-given spiritual sense. 
There was a wonderful Broadway musical many years ago called, “Your Arms Are Too Short to Box with God”. If there was ever a perfect example of that truth, it can be found in the life and times of our brother Paul. Notice the role that divine Love, Christly affection, brotherly love, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness play in Saul/Paul's experience-in his repentance, reformation and redemption.  
(S-10) Where would human will fit in the Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind? Are we beginning to see how we can actively express the qualities in the Second Degree to overcome any temptation to focus on the things in the First Degree? Could it be that those Second Degree qualities help us to feel and know our rightful and eternal place in the Third Degree? Let's give that some thought as we continue to read.  
(S-11 & S-12) Be sure to keep on making note of these actions/effects of divine Love on your list! 
Section 3:
(B-11) Enjoy the beautiful example of Ananias in this section. He sets the standard high for us all with his expression of agápe – illustrating the very same kind of moral courage and Christly affection that Christian Science Practitioners must have for their patients. Mrs. Eddy goes on to explain more about this in (S-16 and S-17) as she describes how our love for God must be actively expressed in our love for our fellow man.  
(S-18) Mrs. Eddy points out the magnificent and very practical object lesson available to us in Paul's experience. Like Saul of Tarsus, we must be willing be led by Love to yield up our “uncertain sense of right for a spiritual sense, which is always right”. Think about this the next time you hear the words, “highest sense of right.” Remember that like Paul, what we're working for isn't just a “sense of right” – but that which is actually demonstrably right within the law of divine Love. 
Section 4: 
(B-13) Mortal mind would keep us on a short leash if it could. And, just when we make our very best progress and forsake a merely personal sense of right and embrace and do what is actually right, mortal mind tries to jerk that leash and pull us back to believing in the reality of the things in the First Degree of the Scientific Translation. (S&H 115)  
Fortunately, Paul's example shows us that the good we do and express becomes a law that makes it impossible for all that stuff on the First Degree to actually reach us. Every citation in Science and Health in this section does a great job of explaining how this law of God operates in human experience. 
By the way, how are your lists coming along? Should be getting pretty long by now, and the language may be getting even stronger and more absolute…
Section 5:
(B-14)  Here's something we can do to fulfill the law of Love, and what happens as a result when we do that.
(B-15 and B-16)  Paul once again demonstrates the life-saving power of the law of Love. It not only saves his life repeatedly throughout his career, but also saves the lives of those with whom he comes into contact. 
(S-24)  By now, we're really starting to see the depth of experience that Paul was speaking from when he said that nothing could separate him from the love of God. 
Section 6: 
(B-21) Everyone is probably quite familiar with Paul's statement from I Corinthians 13 – but read it this week like you've never read it before. [As The Amplified Bible puts it: “IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). 4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. 13 And so faith, hope, love abide [faith — conviction and belief respecting man's relation to God and divine things; hope — joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love — true affection for God and man, growing out of God's love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.”] 
Paul treatise on Love is about being fully faithful to the letter and the spirit of the law of Love. And can you guess the original Greek word for charity? Agápe!   [Click here for a free download of Henry Drummond's classic article on Paul's 1 Cor. 13 analysis of Love called The Greatest Thing in the World.  In it he says: “A man is apt to recommend to others his own strong point.  Love was not Paul's strong point. The observing student can detect a beautiful tenderness growing and ripening all through his character …”]
Look at your list of what Love does. Pretty impressive, huh? Look at the list of what we need to do to fulfill the law of Love. Seems pretty straight-forward doesn't it? There's really nothing on that list that wouldn't be perfectly natural for us to do. And, it turns out that our faithful obedience to the law of Love not only provides for our own health, harmony and well being, but also enables us to be of healing service to the rest of humanity. 
At a time when so many are clamoring for relief from their struggles, whether it be earthquake, financial ruin, sickness, heartbreak or any other form of difficulty, we can rest assured that the law of Love is firmly in place, and IN ACTION! And nothing can keep us from expressing that.  

 [This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who were blessed this summer at CEDARS–as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or who find it weekly on our website.  But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships for such inspirational opportunities.  Your support is always tax-deductible and welcomed–but during the economic downturn, your help has been and continues to be especially needed and appreciated!  Two ongoing needs are to raise significant dollars to underwrite camperships and to care for our large herd of horses.  “Adopt the Herd” donations will be matched!
To make a tax-deductible donation:
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[Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 9-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner's ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing the “Possible Sunday School Topics” come in a subsequent email.) This weekly offering is intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson “mets” are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at or The citations referenced (i.e. B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-30). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]
Warren Huff, Camp Director      (636) 394-6162

[P.S.S.T.-Learn how God’s tender mercies are holding you!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Love
by Tom Evans, St. Louis, MO [bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

What are some of the examples of how “the Lord is good to all”? What if we feel left out? How do you know God is good to all? How would you explain that to someone who says they can’t feel the presence of God in their life?
If the Golden Text is the main idea–a one-liner that we should try to memorize–what topic is the lesson going to cover? [“Tender Mercies”-a new hymn by Susan Mack seems like a theme song for the lesson on Love as well as for the life of Paul. (Hymn 445, Christian Science Hymnal Supplement)]
What does love look like from God’s point of view? Hint: see Responsive Reading for ideas (Mercy, faithfulness, lovingkindness, abundant satisfaction, provision, light, righteousness…) What is man supposed to do in order to recognize God’s love? If we trust, are satisfied, and see the light, what are we supposed to be recognizing exactly? (i.e. a bright light or good in everyday life)
The Psalmist who wrote Psalm 36 in the Responsive Reading was composing poetry that was meaningful to the people of his time. [To write and sing your own Inspirational Songs (iSongs), check out CedarS new ISongs Camp directed by Grammy-nominees, Desiree Goyette and her husband, Ed Bogas. Click to see a 2-minute healing video set to an “iSong” written by Desiree about CedarS–where “a hundred angels waken” and “pressure yields to presence.” “In this place of happy grace-on Nature’s stage–it’s easy to turn, turn, turn a new page.”]
Today as the psalmist wrote we can literally “reach unto the clouds.” It is clear that this concept of reaching to the clouds expressed God’s mercy and faithfulness as above all else. What metaphor would express the same kind of abundance to you today? I always think of this type of metaphor for God’s Love when I’m at the movies. At the climax of the film or during a major turning point I think “God’s care for his children is so much greater that even this.”

Section 1[“My heart is fixed on this one guarantee: The Love that is All holds me tenderly.” CSHS, 445:1]
The first section sounds almost like we have to get God’s attention to witness blessings (B-1). Is that really the case? (NO.) Supplications are a “humble prayer or petition” ( What do we need to do in order to hear God’s messages more clearly?
Look at light as a synonym for Love. What qualities do you associate with the verbs Mrs. Eddy uses to describe light in S-5? Love, a synonym for God, just like Spirit in S-6, “duly feeds and clothes every object…” What kind of needs does divine Love meet?

Section 2[See all who seem like Saul as on their road to Damascus, awaking “each morn to a brand-new day”! Hymn 445:1, Christian Science Hymnal Supplement]
If Love = Divine light, and Human will = darkness or blindness then
Human will or darkness, a lack of understanding for a subject, brings misconceptions, hatred, and persecution of innocence. Paul was struck by Love, divine light.
Can you see a connection in citation S-13 between touching a robe and seeing light or understanding that God is Love more fully? What is “Christ’s robe”?
Citations S-7,-8, -9, -10 all apply directly to Paul’s story in citations B-6 and B-7. What are citations S-11, S-12, and S-13 telling us to do?

Section 3[“I can walk with Love through the valley of fear, Singing Hallelujah! my Savior is here!” Hymn 445:2, Christian Science Hymnal Supplement]
Even when you are afraid how can Love enable you to be brave and do the right thing like Ananias did with Paul?
God speaks to each of us in a way that we can understand so long as we are listening. How do you think Ananias was prepared for an angel message? He heard it and even though he questioned it at first, Ananias acted on God’s word citation B-11. How do you hear the still, small voice, trust it once you hear it, and then act on it? Check out citations S-17 and S-18.

Section 4[“The desert of my longing no hope can fulfill, But Love meets all need and bids want be still.” Hymn 445:2, Christian Science Hymnal Supplement]
Is there a guarantee that by trusting in God we will be protected just like Paul was? How can we be sure we are trusting in the right source of protection and direction? Use citation S-19 to explain Paul’s “Increase…in strength” (B-13). Citation S-20 explains how the plans of those plotting against Paul were exposed and revealed to him. Why is it that “the great truth strips all disguise from error”?

Section 5[“So no matter the need and no matter the threat, I’m secure in Your love, no fear, no regret.” Hymn 445:3, Christian Science Hymnal Supplement]
Ask your class to prepare their thought for a tough, hypothetical situation using citation S-24. It could be a social situation where they might feel uncomfortable, a physical challenge they are about to face like climbing a mountain (you know the kids in your class, choose something meaningful to them). Now, ask them to give a treatment using citations S-25, 26, 27, and 28 for a hypothetical problem that could arise in the social situation or physically challenging situation. (The punch was spiked at a party; the friend they are climbing the mountain with was bitten by a snake; etc.)
In citation S-26 do you believe this rule, understand it, and apply it regularly?
Citation S-28 speaks of reaching a “patient through divine love.” How do you do that? What does it feel like? Aside from the healing results, how can you tell when you have reached someone “through divine love”?

Section 6[“Can there be a sweeter comfort, a grace more divine, Than the thought that Your love is here and is mine?” Hymn 445:3, Christian Science Hymnal Supplement]
Describe a person who gracefully lives Paul’s definition of love as spelled out in citation B-21. How can you more fully embody this passage? What would your life look like if your actions were fully aligned with this passage?
How can you prove that Love “is enough” when you are really seeking a material goal and you haven’t reached it yet? How can you remind yourself of citation S-30 when facing challenging choices in life?

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