Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 (English Standard Version)
Today, it’s all about love.
Of course we know that it’s Valentine’s Day. The stores have been telling us that since well before Christmas.
Today, the greeting card and candy industries, along with florists around the world, thank you for their
Please don’t tell me that you forgot…the stores are still open…get thee out there.
I think I got it right this year. As I’m writing this, I’m on a second version of a project. Not to worry, she’ll see the project before she sees this post…unless I scrap it all together and run out for candy.
I remember the times of my youth, finding the “perfect” Valentines to give my classmates, and never getting the really, really expensive ones.
When our boys were young it was all about the super hero cards.
Now we’re bombarded for two months (at least) with everything that could remotely begin to resemble a Valentine’s product.
It’s not just that Christmas is too commercialized, everything is.
But, not all is lost. Lots of chocolate will be on sale tomorrow.
Today is not Valentine’s Day alone. On the Western Christian church calendar, today is also Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and represents the 46 days before Easter. Traditionally 40 of those days are fasting days if the six Sundays are counted as “feast days.”
Traditions among churches vary, and while I have a Certificate in Christian Education, I am no theologian.
But what greater expression of love than the love shown by Christ as he went to the cross?
Lent is a time of remembrance, of preparation, of preparing for the journey to the cross.
Over the years the churches I have attended have approached Lent in different manners.
When we lived in the Washington, DC area our church chose one year to pass out nails and encouraged us each to carry them with us throughout Lent. I wore mine on a string around my neck.
Let’s just say I had a bit of explaining to do when it set off the metal detectors when I had to be at the White House for a meeting.
As of this writing, I’ve not yet chosen to give anything up for Lent. I may. But, let’s be honest, when you try to follow a primal eating plan, you’ve already given up a good bit.
Again, I digress.
Whatever your faith, or your faith tradition, a time of reflection, a time of self-denial can be a healthy thing.
It’s a day of love, a wondrous love indeed.