All You Need Is Love

For Chris and Erin on their wedding day – 2nd April 2016. Melbourne, Australia.

Love, of course, was invented in the 1960s by The Beatles, a group from Liverpool, England, who also, I believe, managed to have a couple of hits over here. Or, if they didn’t exactly invent love, they popularised the idea. They gave that decade its slogan with the song John Lennon wrote, ‘All You Need Is Love‘. The Beatles performed ‘All You Need Is Love’ on the world’s first live global television link, and with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Keith Moon, and others, sang it to an audience of over 400 million viewers in 25 countries, on 25th June 1967. With the world coming together, that was what Lennon wanted to say.

The song has gone on to have a life of its own, being covered by Echo & The Bunnymen, Elvis Costello, One Direction, and the cast of Glee. (Tom Jones and Noel Gallagher have also had a crack at it.) It also features in the Cirque De Soleil show, called, simply, ‘Love’. Love, it turns out, is all you need.

But it also turns out that the idea that love is all you need, didn’t really originate with John Lennon in the 1960s. You can find something very similar in the 50s. Not the 1950s. The Fifties – the middle decade of the first century. A man named Paul (not McCartney, but ‘Of Tarsus’) writing a letter to a community in Corinth, Greece, notices that, whatever else they have going for them, they seem to have missed out on the more important stuff. For a start, they are divided one against another; everyone is picking sides, as if what divides us is what defines us.

Look, says Mr Of Tarsus, at the end of the day there’s very little that really matters. In fact, he says, I could count on the fingers of one hand the things that really matter. I wouldn’t even need my thumb or my pinky. Three things really matter. Just three. They are faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.

  • Faith tells us that our lives are meaningful, worthwhile; we have purpose, we have value.
  • Hope is why we get out of bed in the morning, in the hope that today is going to be a worthwhile day.
  • And love? Love is the thing without which, nothing much matters or makes sense. Love is the thread woven into the fabric of life, that makes of it a cloth of gold. Without it, life is little more than noise.

Those who choose to marry exercise great faith. You put so much of your life’s happiness in the hands of that one other person. In return, they put their faith in you. So you’ve got that going for you, which is nice.

Those who marry, exercise hope. We have been looking forward to today. We hope that today will be everything you want it to be. And we hope that today is the first of many, many days of fun, laughter and celebration with family, and with friends.

And love? Love is all you need. You can travel half way around the world and discover love. Or you can discover love and travel half way around the world. Because love is all you need.

Well, there are three things that matter – really matter – they are faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.

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