Volume 35, No. 8
What the World Needs Now
(excerpt from Pastor Mike’s upcoming May 2 sermon)
Does your life have a soundtrack? Often, The Beatles, Paul Simon, or John Denver provide a backdrop to my life. I hear songs in my head that help me make sense of the unbelievable things that happen in the world. With all of the violence, fear, misunderstanding, and hate I see all around us during this time, I’ve needed a soundtrack to soothe my soul. Do you know which song I’ve been singing to myself, humming in my mind? Dionne Warwick’s “What the World Needs Now.” She preaches a message of love better than any preacher when she sings, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.”
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing, that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some, but for everyone.
That’s what this world needs. Not some mystical, otherworldly love, but love that is making the life of each person better. Just as Dionne asks us to give love to all and not to a select a small few who we think deserve it, we are to strive to give love to everyone, everywhere, at all times.
Friends, I know it might be difficult on some days to find that love inside us, to love our enemies, or see others as God sees them. But that’s why Jesus came, to show us what the world needs, to reveal to us that Jesus is among us, that God’s love is among us. For us to see God here and now, we are to see each and every person, no matter who they are or what they have done, not matter who we are, or what we have done, in love, sweet love.
I’m entering the final weeks as your pastor. As I finish up, clear out my office, and sift through cherished memories, I recognize that I’m leaving as someone who was loved by you. And I hope I am leaving you as a congregation who has learned how to love better. The writer of John’s first epistle says, “No one has ever seen God.” Maybe not. But I have seen God in you. And we will continue to see God in the people around us, people who create hope, peace, justice, and goodwill, and “who are the face of God to us, who are the love of God for us, who are the presence of God with us.” I pray we all, like Jesus, continue to give and show love, sweet love to everyone.