Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, a day for celebrating love. Some critics would say it is just a “Hallmark holiday”. Recently I heard someone say that “the purpose of Valentine’s day is so retailers can rob you blind.”
No, Brian wasn’t the one that said that, but in truth we have never been ones to make a big deal about this particular day. I believe that the notion of acknowledging our loved ones should be everyday (Poor Brian;))!
The love we celebrate on this day is what is known as phileo - the Greek word for love. It’s the love shared between friends, family and, yes, lovers.
Interestingly, yesterday was also the first day of Lent. Lent is the time (40 days to be exact) that leads up to Easter. For many Christians this is a time of deep reflection and solemn study of a different kind of Love. Agape love, describes the love that God shows to humanity. Us.
The word agape is the Greek word for unconditional love - a love that does not require reciprocation but is relentless, persistent, and will remain no matter what. That is the love of God. Actually, God is that kind of love.
Now to make things even more interesting, Easter, this year falls on April 1st. Yes, April Fools day. No fooling!
The origin of April Fools day is shrouded in mystery. Some believe that April Fools Day began in the 1500s when the Gregorian calendar took over from the Julian. Those who forgot the change and attempted to celebrate New Year’s (previously celebrated on the 1st of April) on the wrong date were teased as “April fools.” But that is one of many theories. Regardless of it origin, April Fools remains a day for jokes, tricks and pranks played on one another.
As I circled Easter Sunday on my calendar, I was reminded of a scripture where Paul writes:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. —1 Corinthians 1:18
As we enter this time before Easter - take time to reflect on the power of God. It may seem like foolishness to some, but you, a follower of Jesus, know the significance of the cross. You know the power of the cross and you know the LOVE of God. You know the unconditional, relentless, persistent, constant love that God has for you. Right now and always.