During February Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, share the same date! It seems an odd mix, doesn’t it, but there is
an obvious link: love! Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, is about reflecting on
the amazing love and sacrifice of Christ.
And Valentine’s day is a day to celebrate romantic love - although that wasn’t the real intention.
Walking thorough Lent teaches us how to live out the love of God in practice, as we follow Jesus in the way of the cross. We get to reflect on Christ’s amazing grace and obvious love for humanity that He would give His life for ours.
Valentine was Christ’s follower, committed to sharing God’s love with others. We know little about him, except that he was a priest who lived in the 3rd Century AD and was martyred on February 14th. He also helped Christians in Rome during times of persecution and demonstrated the importance of showing real love in action.
If anyone remembers the film ‘Love actually’ you will know that Richard Curtiss who wrote the film was very clever in the way he portrayed love in its many forms. Sometimes is was unrequited, sometimes it had to be forgiving, sometimes it was sacrificial, sometimes it was amazing, and sometimes it was just hard work.
‘What, do you wish to know your Lord’s meaning in this thing? Know it well, love was his meaning.’ (Julian of Norwich).
As we begin walking the way of Jesus through Lent, let us reflect on what we will do for love? What would we be willing to give up to let our love of Christ blossom and grow? And how can we show the love we have received through Christ, to those we meet?
May your Lent journey be refreshing and challenging, as we all seek to understand the true love of Christ in our lives.