All you need is love

th-8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

My my. I kicked over a can of worms yesterday and to read through the comments yesterday’s Catch created, I feel as if the worms have been out squirming all night and have already traveled too far from where I kicked the can over to ever try to get them back in. It’s a helpless feeling. Wait a minute, what did I say? Did I really say all that? I’m wondering what I said now. When I go back and read it, I feel it’s clear the point I’m trying to make, and yet I seem to have also made a whole lot of points I never intended.

When things like this happen I begin to understand why Christianity in America has gotten so political in the last 30 some odd years. There is a power of emotional energy unleashed whenever you engage in a political discussion or propose political solutions or even opinions. I see why it would be tempting to think you could harness that power for something — even something good like the kingdom of God — when God actually has in mind a different kind of power in society. Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.

God wants a radical revolution of love. The kingdom of God will never go forth politically nor will it ever be advanced by defending or accusing anything. The kingdom will advance through love.

I could try to put a few worms back in the can but I think I would do better to call us all to something higher. So I draw your attention to the picture I posted with yesterday’s Catch and reposted today.

I was hoping there would be this quiet statement made by that picture. Perhaps you missed the significance of it. The picture is a statement written from a label gun: “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE.”

I was so excited when I found this because it said so much I didn’t have to say. It’s from a tool that is commonly used to affix labels on things and yet it was used in this case for a different purpose. It was used to remind us all that love is the most important thing of all. It’s such a simple message. Instead of labeling, let’s love. Instead of dividing, categorizing, grouping, stereotyping, (and let’s face it … hating … because that’s where a lot of this leads to) let’s unite. Let’s come together as lovers of God and lovers of men. We don’t need labels; all we need is love. We don’t need to get it right; we never will, by the way, in this life. We need to love. Love covers over a multitude of sins, and I need to crawl under that covering today because the worms are out of the can.

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22 Responses to All you need is love

  1. Clayton says:

    Like some of yesterday’s commenters, I too had to re-read parts of that Catch. But then came to mind a statement on the bulletin board of the fire station where I volunteer. All of the new candidates must read it out loud before the whole department before they are voted on for probationary membership. It is as follows: Those of you who do not have a good sense of humor will be at the mercy of those of us who do!

  2. Oh my! I just read all the comments. Wow! I knew exactly what you meant. I think there is a big difference between “human” labels vs the words God has given to describe Himself and His aspects. People labels are used for our own purposes, to categorize, group, separate. God happens to love EVERYONE, no matter the labels we’ve put on them (or ourselves). It’s really tough to wrap our heads around, but He does. And He asks us to also. That’s probably the clearest message in the bible, and the toughest!

  3. Carole in Midland says:

    Poor John, poor wormy John! I was a little concerned that you might get beat up a little over that post. I think what some folks fail to realize is that “communism” in the sense YOU used is COMPLETELY different from the political communist movement today. In the truest sense (in my opinion), true communism is – have a lot, share a lot/have a little, share a little. Modern communism says “Give it all to ME (the political leader) and I’LL decide who gets what – after I take what I want, of course.” In other words, like most everything else in this bent and fallen world, it has been mangled and distorted for the nefarious purposes of men (and women) consumed by greed – some on a larger scale than others. I think (or would LIKE to think -perhaps naively) that MOST believers are “communistic” by the first definition, or become so when we become aware of a need… we just tend to stay in our own little cocoons (especially in the “modern” world), and we fail to hear or see so many needy around us until somebody hits us over the head! As an aside, seems most stories of Christ involve helping those WHO CAME TO HIM for help. So maybe we DO need to be more aware of those in need around us, and maybe others (like me) need to learn to swallow their pride and ASK for help when they need it and then graciously accept what is offered. Well, I still love you, John, and I’d take a punch or two for you any day!

  4. David says:

    I really liked yesterdays “Catch”! I have struggled with Christianity most of my life because of the labels put on others. I get sick when I hear that I can’t possibly be a Christian because I don’t vote the same way as the accusers do, or go to the same church! All of my life I have been told that being a Catholic,(I’m Catholic) was NOT a Christian! So, what is the true Christian church, Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran, how about LDS or Jehovah’s Witness??? Go ahead, put a label on me, like Child of God!

  5. Bill McEachern says:

    Hey Pastor John –

    As I recall, Jesus said somewhat controversial things that really got people thinking ( and often upset). Once 70 of his followers walked away; His talk was just too hard for them. What you said yesterday, you said with the right heart. Your words could be misconstrued, yes, but if your words got us all thinking with our minds and with our hearts, then God bless you Pastor John. Can of worms, of course. Just bait for the soul . Hang in there, your friend Bill from Pensacola

  6. Hans says:

    Exactly that same verse you’re quoting came to my mind [“(…) Love covers over a multitude of sins”] after I read some of the comments on yesterday’s Catch. I recently learned that this is actually a partial quotation from Proverbs 10:12: “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.”

    What also came to mind after reading those comments was a quotation from Pete Seeger: “When will they ever learn” (From: Where have all the flowers gone).
    Not that I am better then anyone else, so let’s make it: “When will WE ever learn”.

    ” And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all (…)” (2 Timothy 2:24)

    When will we ever learn!


  7. TimC says:

    What a great forum where we can misunderstand something, discuss it, and then better understand what was being said.
    It was really funny for me yesterday because I understood what John was saying… but I knew instinctively that the can of worms had been kicked… but I was way too busy with work to take time to comment.
    And I would echo what others have said today. People tried to put labels on Jesus, like, “friend of sinners”. Now there was a harsh label.
    The weird thing is that Christianity does not fit perfectly with any one political group. It’s impossible to say that Jesus would have been a This or a That. Parts of Christianity are very liberal while other parts are very conservative. I think that is because as humans we tend to pick out an ounce of truth and magnify it way out of proportion. We as humans build our political coalitions so that we can get our ounce of truth accomplished, but in the process we make compromises and end up going too far in the wrong direction. And as a result our ounce of truth is ruined.
    When the Father said, “This is my Son whom I love. Listen to him”. (Mark 9:7) And he has told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Which means that we become the community and the social net to catch those around us who are going through a rough time and then to lift them up. I’m pretty sure he never said that we need to get the government to do what he has asked us to do.
    All we need is God’s love.

  8. xman50 says:

    My apologies for fueling yesterday’s fire. Not what I intended.

  9. “What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.”
    ― Salvador Dalí

  10. JJ says:

    Like everything in life our perceptions are our reality. For some of us the realization of this truth causes us to pause, taking a time out to dig deeper before responding just through our own reality.

    Was Jesus a communist? I think, not. [of course my first question when reading John’s statement was, “would you please define the word communist as you understand it]

    Was Jesus a capitalist, I think not.

    Was Jesus something else? Of course, for he in everything he did, said, and taught was, I believe, to bring break down the old and bring about a whole new way of thinking, a true paradigm shifter bring us to the truth, which was him!

    Christians can be both capitalists, socialists/communists… but Christ was neither. He was the Author and Finisher of faith who torn down the walls of our understanding brining us to HIM

    As for those who will not longer support, the Catch, I would ask why your were in the first place? I would presume it is because you felt led of the Spirit and not as a stamp of approval because you agreed with everything he writes. I am positive that He knew John was going to open this can of worms.

  11. Ralph Gaily says:

    It seems to me, John, you could have avoided all this confusion you caused with your strange post on “Jesus and Communism”, by simply answering the sincere, and honest question presented to you yesterday. Without any of your hyperbole, please, “What are your honest, and transparent views on Communism, Communists, and those who adhere to this World View” ? Come on ! I don’t like worms crawling around any more than the rest of us.

  12. Lois Taylor says:

    Thanks for bringing us out of our lethargy, John. I know that is Marti’s job, not yours, but her influence must have rubbed off. Keep it going!

  13. I’m just not feeling the love today. 🙂
    I do have a few labels I’d like to use. :p

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