February…love is in the air, signs are all around. Red, white, and pink hearts everywhere. Teddy bears and roses on the front of grocery ads or jewelry store catalogues offering half price on engagement rings. TV commercials touting everything from flowers, jewelry, flooring (I’m not sure that is what I would want for Valentine’s Day). How romantic do you want to be? You name the price and the item and it can be turned into a gift for the one you love.
February, or more to the point Valentine’s Day, makes me think back to elementary school where we decorated paper bags with lace and hearts in anticipation of valentines from everyone in the class. It was mandatory to have a valentine for everyone whether you liked them or not. No one was not to get a valentine. Looking back I am not sure I would have given a valentine to everyone, if I wasn’t forced to. Just saying.
I also think back 38 years ago. My husband and I were about to welcome into the family our third son. Fortunately, he was born on the 13th and not on Valentine’s Day. He has told me he was grateful that he came a day early.
The above examples show us three types of love; Eros – romantic love; Philo – platonic or friendship love; and Storge – familial love.
So why do we love? What is the reason behind our loving to give gifts to each other on this day; or to send cards to friends; or have a family? Why do we do it? I believe is it because God loves his people; that is you and I. God created and continues to create people to love one another. One way we show our love is to shower the ones we love with gifts. However, there is a more important way to love one another. By telling everyone about God’s love.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life.”
This is the fourth type of love; Agape or unconditional divine love. It is the type of love that God gives to his people.
First John 4:7-12 says: “Dear friends let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
Jesus did not shower the people he came in contact with gifts or trinkets or flowers or candy. No he showed love by speaking the truth; showing the way; providing for their needs.
While beautiful cards, candy, bouquet of flowers and maybe a giant teddy bear shows someone how much they are loved; telling them about your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, speaking the truth; showing compassion; feeding the poor and visiting the needy is what love is all about.
Love is sacrificial.
It’s sending His only Son to earth as a baby so he could grow up and be crucified on a cross to save you and me from our sins.
God’s unconditional, sacrificial, Agape love has been demonstrated for you.
Can we do anything less?
Associate District Lay Leader