The day of this posting is February 14th, St. Valentine’s Day. Not much is known about St. Valentine, other than legend has it that he died a martyr’s death for his faith in Christ, that February 14th has been designated as St. Valentine’s Day, and that all of this has come to be associated with showing love.
This year, as the calendar would have it, February 14th also is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. Starting today, at 9:30 am or at 6:30 pm, for six weeks we will follow the custom of countless churches who have midweek Lenten services dedicated to observing the suffering of our Savior on our behalf as he walks the road to the cross and the sacrifice for sins that took place there.
If love is in the air today on St. Valentine’s Day, it pales in comparison to the love that is in the air in the season of Lent! Consider this passage of Scripture: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (I John 4:10) It’s a powerful reminder for us that we really can’t talk about love in any setting apart from our Lord. “We love because he first loved us.” (I John 4:19)
So, our theme for this year’s Lenten services is “This Is Love”. And for the six Wednesdays of Lent we’ll be looking at the love of Jesus for us which led him to the cross and finally the empty tomb, all for our salvation. We’ll look at the love of Jesus as you would look at a beautiful diamond (no Valentine’s hint intended!) A diamond can be looked at from several different angles, and always the brightness of its beauty shines forth from any of the angles or facets that you view. In the same way, the more we consider the love of God for sinners, seen so clearly in the sacrifice of Christ, the more beautiful and comforting it becomes. That’s what we’ll do this Lent.
Our hope and invitation to all is that you’re able to come to some or all of the midweek services, beginning today, Ash Wednesday. The morning service is a smaller, quiet service. The evening service is a little bigger, and a light supper is served also, beginning about 5:15 pm. The message is the same at each service – This is love – that he sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins!
Hope to see you. And, may God bless our Lenten season!