14 Feb A Valentine’s Day Message for Everyday…
Yesterday at work a little boy handed me a heart-shaped Valentine’s card with my name scribbled on the back. The front had a little heart-shaped maze, and the card read: “you’re a-MAZE-ing.” I couldn’t stop smiling at how adorable this small action was. I started thinking back to elementary school (which made me feel really old) and how I would buy Valentine’s cards with my favourite design, and make personalized messages to everyone in my class. Once I got to school, everyone would have custom-made mail boxes that you could drop the card and a little treat into. One class at a time, we would be called down to the main foyer to buy pink and red treats at the bake sale. It was a very exciting day at school. In middle school, it turned into a dreaded day where over 100 sweaty teenagers were crammed into the cafeteria with a lousy D.J. and too much PDA, if you know what I mean. In high school, it became a day of little significance and over time, Valentine’s day became less and less important to me. February 14th has just become like any other day.
It’s easy to get discouraged on Valentine’s day when there aren’t 25 kids in your class showering with you with nice messages and treats. It’s easy to feel as though we aren’t loved on this day. This holiday is bizarre – it emerged in ancient Rome when a law passed by Emperor Claudius II decreed that soldiers were not allowed to marry. Saint Valentine realized the injustice of this decree and performed marriages in secret for soldiers, and was killed for this. Another account suggests that Saint Valentine was put in prison for helping Christians escape torture in prison. During his time in prison, he sent the first “valentine” greeting to the jailor’s daughter. Yep – really weird that this story has turned into such a commercialized holiday. It’s easy to say we don’t care about this day. It’s easy to be angry and resentful.
Luckily, we have a God who showers us with Valentine’s day messages every day. He is constantly showing us how much He loves us. His grace is showered on us daily. Jesus was the ultimate expression of His love. God showed us how much He loved us by dwelling among us and sacrificing Himself for us. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what it is. God loved the world so much that He gave us His son (John 3:16). Every time I think about this kind of love I am taken aback. John 15:14 says: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Humans are incapable of this kind of perfect love. This kind of love was Jesus’ purpose on Earth. We know what love is because Christ laid down His life for us (1 John 3:16-18), and we are called to love others because of His great love.
Deep down, we all have a desire to love and to be loved. It’s part of being made in God’s image. God created us to be in relationship with one another. I’m not just talking romantically, even though that is the kind of relationship that is most emphasized on Valentine’s Day. 1 John 4:7-8 says that God is love, and that means that we are made to love one another. 1 John 4 also says that perfect love drives out fear and that we love because He first love us.
It is my prayer that we would tune into the love of God more and more, each day, and that we would see His love through our friendships and relationships. Our God isn’t a God that needs us to be perfect. Jesus came because we aren’t perfect. Jesus came as the ultimate sacrifice for our shortcomings. God met us right where we at were because of His great love – and that means we don’t have to fear or be angry.
Know that you are ALWAYS loved.
Written by Ketzia Barron, Intern for Jews for Jesus Canada.