One of the popular songs of my generation was "Love is All We Need." It seems simple in instruction, but can we really live with only love?
February is the month in which we set aside a day to spread love. Feb. 14, Valentine's Day, is a day when we send cards, buy candy and gifts, go out for dinners, do special acts of kindness and other acts that warm our hearts and souls. Yep, "love is all we need."
This can also be the saddest day of the year. Some of us feel like Charlie Brown on that day no Valentines in the mailbox. The grief or sorrow of being alone, lonely, unloved or even unnoticed seem to be enhanced by the joy others are experiencing.
Love should be a daily event and not a yearly holiday.
Love is one of the most loosely used words. I love my car, I love my dog, I love the color blue, I love fishing, I love the city, I love hunting and on and on and on. Love, according to Webster's Dictionary, means: a strong affection; a warm attachment, greatly enjoy. These definitions can hardly touch what the scriptures tell us about love.
The scriptures are clear about love:
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John15:12-13)
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbors as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39)
"And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Jesus' love for us was so strong that he went to the cross for those he loved and loves and that love is for everyone, not just our Valentine.
When I first arrived in Lock Haven, I discovered a very warm community. I have encountered so many different people. The love that was shown to me when I was a newcomer is called hospitality. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we shared that hospitality with everyone we encounter?
"Love is all we need" works when we share Christian love. C.S. Lewis gave the rationale for love in his statement: "He loved us not because we were lovable, but because He is love." There is none among us who is not loved by God, therefore we should have love for one another.
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week's column comes from Rev. Nancy Lee Goff, pastor of Covenant United Methodist Church, Lock Haven.