Our world needs LOVE

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Our world needs LOVE

The number one hit song in 1968-69 was "WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE SWEET LOVE."  This hit song was made famous by a young Lutheran girl who sang on the Lutheran Evangelism Team that conducted the worship service one Sunday at Grace Lutheran, Pittsburgh where I was serving as pastor. Many youth in the congregation told me how moved they were by her voice and the song.  Yes, the world needs to LOVE far more than it is doing.

I have seen many church members exhibit the kind of love Jesus expects of us.  I have seen people sacrifice time and time again.  Did not Jesus say that we are to love one another and our neighbor as ourselves.  He even said that we are to love our enemies.  When there is not love, you find a fractured world, which is what we presently have, both here in America and in nearly every country.

I remember Ralph, a member of my church in Illinois.  His beloved wife suffered a crippling stroke at the age of 53.  Every day Ralph would bath her, dress her, feed her and then dash off to work.  He rushed home at noon to feed her & tend to her needs, then back to work.  At night the cycle was repeated.  He dearly loved his wife.  Every year on his vacation he somehow took his wife on long trips, to Europe, Hawaii and both the Western and Eastern U.S. AND it was a rare Sunday when the two of them did not show up for worship.  She died at the age of 61 which means Ralph lovingly cared for his wife for eight years.

Five years later he met a lovely lady, fell in love and married her.  They were married for five years and his new wife also suffered a crippling stroke.  YOU KNOW WHAT I AM GOING TO SAY, DON'T YOU. Yes, Ralph repeated his acts of love and kindness and took care of her by himself for nearly four years when she died.  Because Ralph had AGAPE love he could do what he did.  He sacrificed, but he did not look at it that way.  Because he loved, what he did to care for both wives was just a natural thing to do.

How beautiful it is to see LOVE put into action.  A song I dearly love says, "LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT".  I Corinthians 13:4-7 sums up what LOVE is all about.  "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."

I wish to thank my family and friends for the love you have shown to both Bess and myself for nearly eight short years.  I thank you for the love and voices of concern so many of you expressed to Bess and myself this past Sunday as she is fighting a health issue that has sapped her strength and vigor.  She is starting to eat again, which is a good sigh, but it will be some more time till she fully regains her appetite and strength.  THANK YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE AT ST. MARK'S.

Thank you to those serving this Thursday, September 6 at SonSet Cafe. May God use our hands to serve the hungry in Fairborn to His glory. Doug Goetz will be conducting worship and preaching this Sunday, and I will be with you on the 16th for the special, outdoor car-show service at 10am.  See you all then!

Peace and power in His Name

Pastor John

John Place