“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.”
Hal David wrote the lyrics and Burt Bacharach composed the music of this song. Jackie DeShannon performed the first version of it, which came out in April, 1965. Since then, many artists have made it their own: Dionne Warwick, Luther Vandross, Michael McDonald, Tom Clay, Sara Bareilles, Broadway for Orlando, Stacy Kent, the Santana and the Isley Brothers, and, of course, Burt Bacharach.
All of the above versions can be found on YouTube. Tom Clay’s uncommon recording is the one I find particularly moving.
Love stands alone as the singular truth which has and shall heal individuals, families, neighborhoods, peoples and nations. Ignoring or forgetting this singular truth always is at the core of the “current” troubles, as it was in 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005, 2015, and today.
“But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.... Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…. Love never ends…. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 12.11, & 13.4-8a, 13 [NRSV]).
God is Love. The center is Love. All else is peripheral.
When you lose your way, remember Love. You are loved. You are being loved. You have the capacity to receive Love. You have the capacity to retain Love. Let Love overflow. Love is the well which never runs dry. Break open the moat. Let Love’s waters flow. Lower the gate. Let Love in.
When your emotions are scattered and your thoughts out of focus, think and act in Love.
Rev Jim Sinclair
Pastor Jim is the minister for First United Baptist Church