We are experiencing a rare occurrence this year as Valentine’s Day falls on the First Sunday in Lent on the Church Year calendar. It does not happen too often, so I am curious if many parishes are making a point about it or not.
I do remember that in one year when it happened, the church where I was worshipping handed out little paper hearts to each member gathered there and they asked us to drop the hearts down the aisle as we walked up to Communion. At first I thought it was a bit hokey, but it must have made an impact, because it is now 23 years later and I still remember the emotional spiritual impact that visual had on me. Multiple hearts were scattered along my path toward the partaking of Christ’s ultimate love in the bread and wine of Holy Communion.
Is your church doing anything special to commemorate the love of God on this “day of love” that has been taken over by Hallmark and the chocolate and florist companies of the world?
Giving a valentine to our sweetheart, a spouse, a classmate or a friend on any Valentine’s Day in any year, no matter when it falls on the calendar should always be an opportunity for us to share the greatest love of all we experience from our God who so loved the world that he sent his Son to save us.
C. S. Lewis talks to us about “the four loves,” which are, from the Greek, storge (family love), philia (friendship love), eros (romantic love) and agape (unconditional love). Valentine’s Day traditionally focuses us only on the eros love, but we as Christians need to remind the world especially on a day of love like this of the agape love of God, who loves us and cares for us no matter what we have done and continues to love us forever and ever simply because of who we are and whose we are—his beloved children specially created by him.
If you are interested, we currently offer a Lent booklet of reflections on C. S. Lewis quotes at Creative Communications for the Parish: