Love is All You Need?
In the summer of 1967, the world was introduced to a song that would become one of the Beatles’ most recognizable tracks.
“All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need”
These simple lyrics added fuel to the late ‘60s counterculture movement known for flower power, hippies, and the summer of love.
When I read the Gospel text for this upcoming Sunday, I can’t help but think of this song and how simple it would all be if we just focused first on loving and caring for one another.
“34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
It doesn’t get more direct than that from Jesus and it fascinates me that this comes from him shortly after he washes the disciples' feet. Not only was he telling his disciples to love, but had also shown them this love by washing their feet — and later on by heading to the cross.
And yet, we make things so complicated.
If we were to love others like Jesus loved us:
Everyone would have food.
Everyone would have shelter.
Everyone would have access to affordable health care.
Jesus did not ask for identification.
He did not ask for an insurance card before he did the healing.
He did not check the amount on the people's Bridge Cards before he fed the 5000.
He just loved.
He did not tell people to stop being gay.
He did not ask people for proof of citizenship.
He did not ask them to sign up with their email address.
He just loved.
And he loved with a love so fierce, that after the people felt his love, they went out and loved other people. Not because they felt like they had to love to earn their blessing for Jesus, but because they felt that fierce love and they had to share that same love with others.
Yes, we have rules and measures in place to keep people safe.
But what might the world be if we all, especially those that are followers of Christ, led with love first rather than fear or worry or a need for self preservation?
I’m willing to believe that we could change everything.
In 1971 John Lennon said: "I think All You Need Is Love is a true statement ... It doesn't mean that all you have to do is put on a phony smile or wear a flower dress and it's gonna be alright ... I'm talking about real love ... Love is appreciation of other people and allowing them to be. Love is allowing somebody to be themselves, and that's what we do need."
As followers of Jesus, might we see people for who they are. Might we love people for who they are. And let's see how that love can reflect the face of God, and how it can change the world.