All You Need Is Love

If you are an avid Beatles fan, you know that this was the title of their 1967 hit. When asked why they wrote it, they replied, “We wanted a message that is understood by everyone.”

Many of you know that I often get a ‘word’ for each year; a motto; a theme so to speak.   I don’t look for it, I try not to make it happen. I don’t expect it. This year it just came while driving my car (don’t most important thoughts come while driving?) and I knew it was from God. But LOVE… such a common word. Couldn’t I get a more unique word? A word that nobody has ever had? I know – no arguing with God.

But love IS such an overused word in our language – ‘Love ya’, we casually say to a friend. ‘I love this meal!’, that we eat with gusto at our favourite restaurant. “Lovvveeee this pic!!!!!!”, we enthusiastically comment on Instagram. ‘I just love what you did with your house’, we say to our neighbour’s redecorating efforts. ‘I love you’, we say for the first time to our boyfriend. All sincere, all very different, and all meaningless if there is no action around them!

I got a great example of LOVE IN ACTION while reading Genesis 9:20-23.‘After the flood, Noah became a farmer and planted a vineyard. One day he became drunk on some wine he had made and lay naked in his tent. Ham, his son, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers. Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, walked backward into the tent, and covered their father’s naked body. As they did this, they looked the other way so they wouldn’t see him naked.’

After when Noah found out what his sons had done, he cursed Ham but blessed Shem and Japheth.

A few things stood out to me.

NO ONE IS PERFECT. Noah and his family had been saved from the flood because Noah was the only righteous man to be found on the whole earth. The first mention of him after the flood is of him getting drunk and passing out. Stuff happens, mistakes are made. God’s LOVE gives us grace, mercy and compassion for one another as human beings. We ALL fail and have faults as people. God loves you when you are good and when you are bad.

LOVE IS ACTION. The first son, upon finding his dad, doesn’t do anything except tell his other brothers which I can imagine was in an embarrassing and disgusted way. That is not the action of love. But the other two go in and cover him up.

LOVE COVERS A MULTIPLE OF SIN – 1 Peter 4:8. Instead of exposing their father, they covered him up and even walked in backwards to make sure they didn’t see him or add to the memory of this and so as not to embarrass their father further. I think sometimes we are afraid that ‘covering sin’ is condoning sin. Absolutely not, but God’s LOVE does bring grace and mercy. Doesn’t the bible say that ‘His kindness leads us to repentance’?

LOVE BRINGS BLESSING. The son that didn’t do anything was cursed but the sons that covered their dad were blessed.

Love is always the right choice. It doesn’t mean it is the easiest choice and it is often very costly. But LOVE will speak louder than any other voice, go deeper, and get the best results. Here are the greatest words ever written on LOVE.

I Cor. 13:4-8 (NLT)
‘Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
Love is not irritable,
And it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
It is never glad about injustice
But rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up,
Never loses faith,
Is always hopeful,
And endures through every circumstance.
Love will last forever.’

-Pastor Tomana