Today is Valentine’s Day. It’s also Ash Wednesday.
I’m not an expert on the liturgical calendar, but last semester l learned enough to realize its importance & beauty. So early this morning l tagged along with some friends and went to an Ash Wednesday service. It was amazing & l caught a little glimpse of how glorious and mighty God truly is.
Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday haven’t collided since 1945. And honestly, l love that they’re on the same day this year.
I love that they’re on the same day because we love to celebrate love, but we don’t really know what love means. What is love? Is it being in a relationship? Maybe it’s self-love? We like to talk about love, but sometimes its meaning gets muddied in this crazy world & all we think of are pretty red roses and candlelight dinners.
The fact is that our love is often selfish; everything is about us and for us. However, Christ exemplifies true love. Paul writes that, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ became dirty, disgusting sin for our salvation. That is what love is all about.
So this Valentine’s Day, don’t worry about how much chocolate you get, about how your hair looks, or about what fancy restaurant you want to go to. Don’t worry for a moment about your relationship status or how many “happy Valentine’s” texts you get.
Today, breathe and enjoy the fact that Love himself came to earth in obedience to the Father because of love for you. Paul says it better when he relates this about Jesus: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11).
Let go of the red roses, and embrace the One who wore a crown of thorns for you.
Happy Valentine’s Day, and may Jesus’s love and grace fill your heart this Ash Wednesday.