True love stories never have endings – Richard Bach
Valentine’s Day, a day in Australia where shop owners go crazy changing their window displays to invite thoughts of love. They madly stock the shelves with a variety of gifts which often involve an abundance of heart shaped objects, flowers and over the top “mushy” cards in the hope there will be a rush of customers all wanting to shower presents on their beloved ones. It’s one of the biggest days of the year for florists and more often than not there is a wedding or two. It is a day that at times seems to scream “couples” and “romance”.
While I think that the idea of Valentine’s Day is a combination of “sweet” and “commercial” I prefer the way it is celebrated in Antigua Guatemala. In Antigua it is known as El Día del Cariño, most closely translated as “The Day of Affection”. It is the day where the people of Antigua show appreciation to those around them – neighbours, co-workers, friends, family, spouses and such. What a beautiful sentiment.
On Valentine’s Day this year, I was asked to give the Communion message at Church. Originally I giggled at the thought that I, a single mum, was to give a message on “the day of love” for couples. But then I paused to think of the one who loves me more than anyone could. Below I share with you my Communion message:-
“Valentine’s Day, brings a myriad of emotions to a variety of people both negative and positive. Love lost, new love, a parent’s love, heartache of unrequited love, yearning for love or just beginning to understand love – there are so many emotions brought up on this day every year.
For me though, it is a beautiful thing being able to share in communion on Valentine’s Day because in partaking in communion we are remembering and celebrating the ultimate act of love from the only being who loves each and every one of us with a pure relentless eternal love, our Heavenly Father.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that anyone who would believe in him would not perish but have eternal life”. John 3:16
That precious sacrifice, the aching separation of a father and son when Jesus bore our sins as He stretched out his arms and died on the cross. And the magnificent jubilation in heaven resonating for all eternity when He rose again. A journey full of the most extreme of emotions all given and acted upon out of love, so that we may have an eternal relationship with God.
So as we take the bread and remember Christ’s body broken for us, as we drink the juice and remember His blood that was shed for us, I encourage you to meditate on the fact that He loves you with a pure, relentless, unconditional true love to a depth that we will never experience from anyone or anything else in our lifetime.”
Have you experienced this love? Have you truly realised the depth of the love your Heavenly Father has for you? If not I encourage you to open up the Bible and spend some time studying it. The Bible is full of verses which are testament of His love for you.
For those of you who have experienced God’s love and do know how deeply loved you are, I encourage you to share in the comments below your favourite Bible verses that helped you to understand the depth of that love. I would also love to hear why the verses you have chosen to share resonate with you.
(original post 26.2.2016)
Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan