Happy Valentine’s Day! Create in me a clean heart.

Posted: February 12, 2018 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Valentine’s Day or Ash Wednesday, which one are you thinking about this week? Both should have a place in our, uhm, “hearts.” Both Valentine’s and Ash Wednesday call us to be contemplative about the very big subject of love.

HeartOn St. Valentine’s Day we celebrate our love for one another. Its all about eros, romantic love or, perhaps, philia, brotherly/sisterly love among family or friends. We swap cards, sticky candy, flowers and other playful gifts as expressions of our love.

Ash Wednesday, however, is a time we remember God’s love for us. Ash Wednesday may lack the cuteness-quotient of Valentine’s Day, but if we mark the occasion with thoughtful prayer or worship, it should draw us just a little closer to God and God’s selfless love for us. We celebrate the fact that God, through Jesus, forgives us our sins, failures and shortcomings in spite of ourselves through agape love: love which freely loses itself for another.

Jesus said that there is no greater love than when we willing lay our lives down for one another. And that’s precisely what he did. As odd as it may seem to us, the Apostle Paul said that God demonstrated true love most clearly to us this way: “yet while we were still sinning, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

You might say that Jesus was the greatest Valentine’s gift ever. God’s beautiful expression of love for the world and everyone in it.

With Love and Affection,

Ash Wednesday Thoughts: “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

  1. Carol Gould says:

    thank you Pastor Mark these thoughts touched me deeply Missing my husband very much these words will help me re focus on what is meaningful spiritually as well as the everlasting love I have for Les and all the wonderful people in my life Carol

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