“What the world needs now is love, sweet love.”*
We couldn’t agree more, but not the wimpy, conditional love the world has to offer – not love based on performance, celebrity, looks or birthright, not love that ebbs and flows based on feelings. The world needs the unconditional love of Jesus Christ, love with the power to turn hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, love with the power to erase shame and self-hatred, love with the power to bring a person into right relationship with his/her Creator, love with the power to turn enemies into sons and daughters.
“No not just for some but for everyone.”
Jesus came that everyone – the poor, the rich, the downtrodden, the rebellious, the prideful, the felon – might experience this big, powerful love; discover who he/she was meant to be; turn from a life devoted to self and grasp hold of a meaningful relationship with God.
This love message is the gospel at the center of our name – Union Gospel Mission – and the core of our purpose statement: “…to reach the poor with the love and power of the gospel.”
Love and Power. As I write this column, the snow melt and rain have made the Spokane River at the park outside our door as high as I can ever remember it being. Its power is perhaps most evident when you stand at the Monroe Street Falls where 42,843 cubic feet (or 321,000 gallons) of water are rushing past every second, generating up to 14.8 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 11,100 homes.
The Bible likens the Holy Spirit to a mighty river who generates the power to transform lives, and it has been my privilege to witness that power at work every day for the past 30 years. When a person entrusts his life to Jesus, he receives the gift of the Holy Spirit and begins to change from the inside out.
The gospel brings you, me and the guests who walk through our doors face to face with Jesus, and in His face we find, not the condemnation we expect, but love and forgiveness. We find a sense of belonging and purpose, and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we find the power to live a life that pleases Him.
The Union Gospel Mission is committed to keeping the gospel at the center of everything we do.
What the world needs now is love – the powerful love of the gospel.
*lyrics by Hal David, ©1965