“7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4 7-8 (NRSV)

Burt Bacharach’s song “What the World Needs Now is Love” has been in my ears for the past couple of weeks. I like to listen to music that was given to me as a child and see what I learn from it as an adult. As I’ve been singing this song more lately, one line always seems to stand out more than others.

“What the world needs now, is love, sweet love. No not just for some, but for everyone!”

At the time of writing this, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’ve been thinking about how easy it can be to love those closest to us. Whether it’s a partner, parents, children, your pet or your best friend, many of us are probably comfortable telling someone how much we love them and showing that somehow. However, like the lyrics I quoted state, the world needs more love not just for some, but for everyone. In my own life, I’ve noticed a peak in divisive attitudes, assumed intentions, and general unkindness. I’ve read countless times on social media about how folks just wish people would be more kind to each other. Perhaps you have seen this in your life as well? If you have, you now know you’re not alone!

It might be easy to say that you love someone close to you, or thinks like you. However, as Christians, we are called to love those who might be the hardest to love. We are called to love those who think differently or believe in a different way. We are called to love each other when it’s easy and when it’s hard. We are called to love because it is from God. We all know God’s love is limitless and undefined by our own expectations which we should carry into our own lives.

I’m not saying this is easy or that I’m the best at this. I’m still unlearning all of the unloving behavior that I’ve participated in. I know how easy it can be for me to be unloving because I have my triggers just like anyone else.  If we want the Kin-dom to be on Earth as it is in Heaven, then it starts with us in the Central District. It might be easier to wait for someone else to take the first step to love, but we have to believe that we are responsible for taking the lead. Let us love one another because God is love. What the world needs now, more than ever, is love. No, not just for the neighbor who thinks like me, but for everyone.  If we want to be a Christ-Centered, Community-Connected and Missionally-Centric let’s start with love…not just for some but for everyone!

Greg O’Connor
Conference Assistant serving the Central District