Today is the first day of Lent and yes, also Valentine’s Day! – or should I say vaLENTine’s Day?! At first glance, these two holidays have nothing in common. One is deeply spiritual, the other not so much; one often involves fasting, the other feasting on chocolates; one is centered on the cross and the other makes a mint for Hallmark and your local florist. So, it seems like a trick of the calendar to have these fall on the same day. And yet…and yet both center on that most amazing and transforming gift from God’s hand: the gift of love. “We love,” says the Apostle John, “because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) It’s really that simple.
God our Creator could have made us (his creation) in a million different ways – but He made us with hearts to love Him, and to love one another. As Jesus reminds us:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
and with all your mind…. And your neighbor as yourself.”
Really loving the Lord is hard to do when I am busy focusing on everything else in my world. So, I try to slow down a little in Lent, and look at the One who calls us His beloved and who loved us to the cross and beyond.
Please join us this evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Barn Sanctuary as we celebrate Ash Wednesday and this unique cross-shaped Valentine that God has sent for each of us.
Journeying through Lent with you,