I always thought that I am safe as long as there is Love. I experienced very important healings with this simple trust in God's love, and I have never saw loving, forgiving, peacemaking fail, ever.
I read this week again the famous chapter on "Love" from Paul's first letter to the early Christian church in Corinth, I woke up one morning with this clear sense that the Love, Paul talks about, is not some distant goal, but a present reality. At the end of his letter he writes:
"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely." (1 Cor 13: 12)
It is my sense of historical readings and theological interpretations over the centuries of this important text by one of Christianity's greatest thinkers, that love for Paul - in these readings - eschatological. This means that this letter describes somethings that will happen at the end of time and the world and everything. In particular here it means that Love is a future goal, a goal to be aimed at but not to be achieved in the here and now. This interpretation, of course, is hinged at the two "then"s in this paragraph: "...then we shall see..." and "...then I shall know..."
The other morning it dawned on me with the full warmth and glow of divine Love, that there is no future of Love in the historical or chronological meaning, but that Love is here, and it is with us, and it will always, always be. This "then" can only mean that this understanding of Love will dawn on us only, well, when it dawns on us. Love can only be felt and lived as Love, there is no other way - just as light is light and can experienced only as, well light.
Mary Baker Eddy writes:
We live in an age of Love's divine adventure to be All-in-all.
(The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 158:9–10)
So here it is: Love is here. I felt I had unwittingly bought into the general expectation that someday humanity would know what Love is and would know how to learn to live peaceably which each other. But this notion, I am now seeing, really implies two basic misunderstandings: 1) a timeline for an ever-present, omniscient Being - Love, God - and 2) a waiting period for different or perhaps even better rules for us all.
As there is no chronological timeline for an ever-present, omniscient Being, we are not set on a timeline either. In the same way we can see how futile it is to wait for different or better rules, because this eternal Being has already revealed the rules: The Ten Commandments the sermon on the Mount, Jesus' work, the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy. Everything is already out and known. The rules for healthy and happy living, for lives with purpose and grandeur are here, the rules for healing are here. We know what the laws and rules are and there will be no different or better ones. We only have to practice them. Love is here.
Here is Paul's letter given to you in full --- written a little less then 2000 years ago...and written for you. The translation is the New Living Translation.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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