The other day I was reading through one of the chapters for my 60 and over class; and one of the quotes reminded me of a song, ‘What The World Needs Now” (is love, sweet love). The song written by the prolific team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David was first recorded by Jackie DeShannon in 1965. I was a sophomore in college; it was the middle of a tumultuous decade. The Anti-War movement was 2 years old and flower power was about two years away. Folk music shared the stage with Rock and Roll. Motown was my favorite but it was indeed the 60s and so much was going on.

This simple ballad was recorded by scores of artists and it seemed to strike a chord, it seemed to bridge a gap between changing generations with a message clearly stating that things could be so much better if we only could first love our neighbor. Some dismissed it as fluff and trite; but I would challenge anyone to just read the lyrics and tell me it is not even more fitting for our time; now almost 60 years later.

Pastor Brian McLaren, in his latest book on Staying Christian, writes this, “I must try to understand and unearth the greatest blessings of my tradition, just as I face up to its many shortcomings. I must engage in a kind of truth and reconciliation process within my heritage. Then, simultaneously humbled by my religion’s failure and inspired by its treasures, I can find my neighbors – both religious and secular- who are engaging in a parallel process in their communities. In a spirit of humility and generosity, we can confess our shortcomings and share our treasures, working together for the common good of all our fellow creatures on this beautiful, fragile planet.”

Maybe this may be what the world needs now.

Milt Fredericks
Lay Pastor of Congregational Care