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Unconditional Love — Wedded to Its Own Idea!
Application Ideas for the Lesson on “Love” for July 28 – Aug. 3, 2003
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, CS

Have you ever thought about God as the husband of all? Check out this definition that Webster gives for husband: “a manager of affairs in general; a cultivator.” It fits!

Golden Text: God’s love – the love of Love is forever and unconditional.

Responsive Reading: God showed the “children of Israel” the way out of Egypt to freedom. Although they didn’t acknowledge his presence or power, Love continued being Love. God never gives up on His people, but heals their backsliding instead. Ultimately all will follow. Hosea 2: 16 refers to calling God, Ishi. In other translations, the term used in the place of Ishi is “my husband.”

Section I: Happiness is not dependent on person.
“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.” (Isa. 66: 13) God, Love, indeed provides constant comfort – no separation from the Mother-love!
Although Ruth and Naomi’s human husbands are gone, the Love remains. Ruth returns with Naomi in order to provide for her needs. (Ruth 1) Science and Health makes it clear that happiness is spiritual and unselfish (p. 304) and that Love provides for our happiness even when human affection is taken away or interrupted. The love of Love is sufficient to meet every need. Trials provide an opportunity to feel God’s love and practice leaning on God for our happiness and well-being.

Section II: Faithfulness is Rewarded – Love meets needs.
Ruth’s selflessness is rewarded. Although apparently heading out without a plan, Love places Ruth in Boaz’s field. The general manager (husband) always has a perfect plan. Although Naomi still considered Ruth (her own daughter-in-law) a foreigner, in spite of all she was doing for Naomi, Boaz immediately received Ruth warmly and provided for her needs by opening his field to her. (Boaz was a relative of Ruth’s father-in-law, but didn’t know that until after his kindness had been extended.) Boaz’s response was evidence of God’s unconditional love naturally meeting a need. Science and Health assures us that Love is impartial – available to all. Grace is natural to Love. Those that put the needs of others before their own needs are always blessed.

Section III: Family = A Unit of Mutual Caring
The concept of marriage presented in this section can be extended to any relationship – a cabin group at camp, a classroom, even a church membership. Boaz and Ruth marry, and together have a child. Fulfilling a unity of purpose in the community, Naomi helps care for the child and the neighbors name the child. There are now no foreigners or outsiders. The promise follows, “God setteth the solitary in families.” (Ps. 68: 6) Science and Health gives a description of the qualities that contribute to a successful marriage: tender solicitude for each other’s happiness, each one sustaining the other – recognizing the infinite nature of Love! The point is made, “Home is the dearest spot on earth, and it should be the centre, though not the boundary, of the affections.” (58: 21) Home is more a quality of thought than a place – inclusive of all of Love’s ideas.

Section IV: The Activity of Christ = Love
Because of God’s love, the Christ was revealed. The prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled in Jesus – Jesus being the descendent of David, who was the descendent of Boaz. Christ is “the spiritual idea of divine Love.” (S&H 38) Christ Jesus taught us the human application of this Love: judge not, love purely and without revenge, the golden rule (Matt. 5 & 7) The world has need of our prayers and Mrs. Eddy gives us instruction for ending wars and establishing true brotherhood. She teaches that we must understand that “all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love.” (467) Universal love is the only way to peace – love for all, despite differing opinions and beliefs. As we wait patiently for Love to move thought, perfection will be seen. We must let Love be the manager of all things!

Section V: No Penalty for Doing Good
The virtuous woman is described here, but certainly all that is said would also apply to the virtuous man, would it not? Dorcas was one of the most valued workers in the church. When she apparently died, the congregation felt a great loss and rushed to get Peter to help. Peter put out of the room those who believed she was dead and mourned in response to that false belief. In so doing, he restored her to life. We must put out the thoughts that come to us of doubt and despair regarding anything good that seems to have been lost. There is no penalty in Love. Love never depletes, but strengthens (S&H 192). The rule of healing is based on omnipotent Love. The Christ enabled Peter to demonstrate the rule of Life as uninterrupted good! The Christ enables us to demonstrate the rule, too!

Section VI: Love wedded to Love’s idea – plagues of material sense destroyed.
The initial promise is repeated! God loves us! No matter what else happens, God – the creator – is the husband (the manager of affairs in general) of us all! No one is left out and it is never too late to feel God’s care. Revelation 19 proclaims that all will be well – a promise! Salvation is sure to come and mankind will be delivered. So, no matter how dark it seems, John’s vision of victory is a sure thing. Praise God! The marriage – commitment – is between Christ (Love) and the bride (the Holy City, New Jerusalem) New Jerusalem is defined in the glossary as: “Divine Science; the spiritual facts and harmony of the universe; the kingdom of heaven, or reign of harmony.” Divine Principle and the spiritual idea are wedded – are become one. The marriage feast is the celebration which follows the revelation of this union. In the presence of the revelation, “physical plagues imposed by material sense” are forever destroyed. The trials often seem very real and threatening, but realizing the union of God and idea – the union of God and man as one — reveals the harmony that results from acknowledging the love of God as the husband (the cultivator) of all!

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