As I have daily prayed and pondered the events of the past few weeks amid the chaos that surrounds us at this time, I was initially haunted by Charles Dickens words: “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” And then, I keep hearing the words from the burial office drift in and out of my mind:  “Life is not ended, it is changed.”  And, indeed, it has. We are all experiencing a “new normal.” All of the aforementioned mental wandering sent me down a word study rabbit trail through the Bible seeking solace where I found the following: the word  encouragement  appears 12 times,  hope  appears 180 times,  peace –249 times and  love –686.
 
My ultimate “take away” from my word study journey led me back to a couple of old friends in God’s word–snippets from 1 Corinthians 13:4–7.
 
“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
 
And at the end of the chapter…
 
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
 
It seems to me that the whole world needs a heapin’ helpin’ servin’ of God’s love at this moment in time, to remember that “We love because God first loved us” and, from John 3:16, “God so loved the world...”
 
I don’t know anything about the spiritual journey of Dion Warwick, but in 1965 she sang a song that might be good for us to revisit:
 
“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.”
 
We love because God first loved us... we lean on His love.
 
A Question:  How can you share God’s love today?
 
(Bible quotations are from the RSV translation.)

The Rev. Robert E. Wareing
Pastoral Care Associate