St. Valentine’s Day

Today is St. Valentine’s Day. It's a great day for those 'in love', but an awful day for some folks...

This prayer is thanks to Mike Peatman, who posted it on Facebook. Somehow it resonated strongly with me - I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s day.

We pray today for those in love, those off love, those in between. And for those who are lonelier today than other days.
We pray today for those whose frozen hearts cannot love & those who feel so unlovely that they can't love themselves.
We pray for the elderly man gazing today at a black and white photograph in a silver frame of a wedding in another time.
We pray for the mum, who quietly bought herself flowers yesterday. And the boy who dared to send a card but didn't get one back.
King of love come comfort and forgive us this cheap, gaudy, desperate, isolating thing we have made of you. Amen.

Pete Greig - Valentine’s Prayer

Thinking of Mike, and my Mum, and others I know who've lost the love of their lives. Those who've never felt loved. And those who've never received a Valentine's card. I was that boy - I never got one back.

Human love is so temporary, so fickle, so conditional.

I keep coming back to this because for me, it’s central to the message of Christ, and yet is something which the church has often, and tragically, got wrong down the millennia:

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. 1 John 4:9-12

That love is unconditional. It is absolute. It doesn’t depend on us at all, but simply on the nature of God…

God is love. 1 John 4:16

However good, bad, worthy or unworthy we may think we are, whether we know it or not, and whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, God loves us all the same - as being incredibly precious to Him. So precious that He was prepared to sacrifice His son for us:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. 1 John 3:16

That takes quite a lot of grasping. I’ve been trying to grasp the enormity of it for the past 37 years.

God bless you today.

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2016