The other day, I asked my 4-year-old grandson what he was learning in Miss Jean’s preschool. “We’re learning about shapes, numbers and Valentine’s Day,” Reeve reported matter of factly.
I’ve always liked Valentine’s Day. The thought of focusing on love in mid-winter makes my heart smile.
A variety of stories, myths and traditions surround the holiday, which my grandson will probably not be learning in preschool. Some are interesting, others rather bizarre. Many focus on a 3rd Century Bishop named Valentine who was martyred because he performed secret marriage ceremonies for young lovers in defiance of the decree of Claudius II, which forbade soldiers to marry.
During the month of February—leading up to the beginning of the season of Lent—I’d like to focus attention on the most profound love—God’s love—as portrayed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV).
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
The Apostle John declares …God is love. (1 John 4:8). If that is true, which I believe at the core of my being it is, then today’s segment of this scripture could be paraphrased to read:
God is patient. God is kind.
God of Love,
Write the words of your love deeply within our souls.
Illuminate the dark days of mid-winter with the light of your love.
Let us listen for the whisper of your Spirit telling us how to love in a way that reflects your love.
Thank you so much, God, for your patience and kindness in this process of learning to love you, others and ourselves well!