I bet you are singing the song now aren’t you?!
As I am writing this, things seem to be ramping up again for Valentine’s day, and talk of love is all over social media and TV advertising. Sales of Milk Tray must be going through the roof! February also sees the beginning of lent, which might not have an obvious connection but stick with me … I will explain!
Love is a funny old word. The Greeks have at least four different words for it, whilst we English have decided that we will mostly use one word to describe all aspects of love. For example, I love football and electric cars but most definitely not in the same way as I love my wife Rachel (and she would have a few things to say about it if I did!). The way I love my children is of course different from the way I love my dog.. and so on … you get the picture.
There is a guy called Paul who wrote lots of letters to the early church, and these are included near the back of the New Testament. In one of them, writing to a church in Corinth, he specifically writes about love. He describes it in the following way:
Patient, kind, joyful, inspiring hope, not boastful, proud or self-seeking. It is a rejection of evil and an embracing of truth.
He writes it better than my paraphrasing of course, so much better it is often used at weddings – it’s a beautiful piece of poetry (Check it out, 1 Corinthians Chapter 13). However, despite being used at weddings it is not actually describing romantic love, but the source of all love. I believe that literally, God is love – so that all love flows from him, through us (if we allow it) and to others. It is infectious, joyful and one of the most amazing things about being a human being.
During lent, we try to give us things that might distract us from that love. It’s not really a time to give up caffeine or lose weight for health reasons, you can do that at any point of the year. The purpose of lent is to cut out or take up something so that you can fully concentrate on that source of love ... and it can be transformational.
This year we have some groups that are going to watch the film ‘A Kings Speech’ and make connections with our own lives, for example the fears that hold us back from focussing on God’s love. We would love to include you, it doesn’t matter if you go to church or not. Just pop into one of our churches and a sign-up sheet will be at the back so that you can indicate what days and times might be best for you, and don’t worry – if you are not used to being around church I will make sure you get put into a group with other newcomers as well!
Thanks for reading this, and have a wonderful month inspired by that life-giving love of God