We [Christians] have been given a mission to accomplish, but it’s not just to promote a message, as important as that is. It’s also to live in relationship with one another – in the kind of relationship that demonstrates God’s love to a broken and hurting world. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, ” Jesus told us, “if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).Gina Dalfonzo in One by One (page 182)
I just typed “Valentine’s Day” into Google, and lo and behold, approximately 261 million results were found in 0.76 seconds. One very quickly discovers that Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 (surprise!). One can discover Starbucks’ special menu for Valentine’s Day. Red hearts are the predominant image. And yes, Prince Harry and Megan Markle are 2 of the top 3 news stories related to Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air. Hallmark is salivating. Florists are preparing. Chocolates are flying off the shelves. Candles are being readied. Grade school students are bringing treats for everyone. Engagements are being planned. Love is in the air.
I don’t like Valentine’s Day. Now, before you send your comments, this has nothing to do with my wife Bonita. Nope. I’m not against romance, marriage or even gift giving. I don’t classify myself as a cheapskate. My dislike for Valentine’s Day stems from both the overt and over-the-top commercialization of the day, as well as the (oft unspoken) message that those who can’t find a date for Valentine’s Day are somewhat less worthy humans than those who can.
Different days are difficult for different people. Some will find Valentine’s Day tough; for others, it is Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. My challenge to our congregation is this: let’s live out Jesus’ command in John 13:35. Let’s truly love all! How are we doing welcoming those for whom certain holidays bring more pain than joy? Are we sending subtle messages that one only truly arrives when finally getting married or having children? I desire King Road to be a place where all are loved, regardless of race, stature, marital status, past experiences, hair colour, shoe size, gender, or food tastes. How can we do this? Perhaps you have some ideas. Please share them.
If Valentine’s Day helps us reflect on how we love others, then I can see the value of celebrating. Perhaps that is my challenge as I look at next week’s calendar. What about you?
If we truly love each other, people will notice. Actually, they’ll notice even if we aren’t loving each other. I guess the question is, what are they noticing?