Love and Lent
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. ~John 3: 16
This is my command: Love each other. ~ John 15: 17
Red. Roses. Hearts. Chocolate. Love. These are the things we all tend to think about in February with St. Valentine’s Day situated in the middle of the month. Valentine’s Day is special in its own right, a celebration of love. Yet the love we celebrate on Valentine’s Day is the love shared in human relationships, a love that is incomplete if separated from the love of God. This year, it just so happens that Valentine’s Day is followed almost immediately by Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the season of Lent. Perhaps with Lent following so closely on the heels of Valentine’s Day, we will have the opportunity to really reflect upon and celebrate that special love that God has for us.
I love season of Lent; those forty days of intentional reflection and preparation for the great celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. I really feel that in deliberately focusing as we do during Lent, we draw closer to God and that God is revealed to us in new and special ways. Perhaps this Lenten season we can reflect especially on God’s love. The love that took on flesh and became human, facing all the burdens of this life. The love that disregarded all human frailties and reached out to the sinner and the outcast. The love that was betrayed by a close friend wanting a quick buck. The love that was rejected and denied by friends and followers, by his own people. The love that hung on a cross in shame so that all God’s people might know life.
I pray that as we celebrate Valentine’s Day this year and then begin the season of Lent, we will reflect on this great thing we call “love.” I ask that we might gain new insight about what it means to love, and that God might show us how we can more fully love those around us. And I pray that as Easter approaches, we will offer a renewed celebration of the life of Jesus Christ and the life he offers us; a LIFE that grows out of LOVE!