With Valentine’s Day right in the middle of February, we cannot help but be reminded that love is everywhere right now! Some of us may cringe at the thought that this is just another way for the card, candy, jewelry, and other retailers to get more of our hard-earned money. Others of us may simply rejoice the opportunity to express our love to family, friends, church members, community members and even to people around the world!
Why do we share love? According to 1 John 4:19, “We love because God first loved us.” Love did not originate with us and ultimately comes from God. God loved us when God created the first human being and realized that the man should not be alone. In God’s love for us, God created a community and world in which we could live. Even in our sin, God has loved us faithfully over time and sent us Jesus Christ to deliver us from our sin.
In response to God’s great acts of love, we have opportunities to show love. Love is meant to be shared and love is meant to be received. As I consider love, I think about the secular children’s book, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson. This book is about one little girl who did one simple act of love and kindness as she picked blueberries and gave them to a woman who then baked muffins for five people. Each of those five people did something kind and loving for five other people and so on for the next 15 days. Through her one kind and loving act, over 6 billion people were positively affected. One kind act even came back to her!
Several years ago, I read this book to the children during the children’s time at both of my churches. During those moments, I felt the presence of God’s love. The kids were more focused than usual and some even leaning on me. Such an awesome bond of love was being shared in those moments. These moments filled my love tank and as a result set my week off on a good trajectory. I could not wait for opportunities to show others love throughout that week!
1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that love is patient and love is kind. It’s all too easy to lose our patience when we are living in community with others and kindness goes to the wayside. Let us be reminded to love others, even when it is difficult, because God loved us first and so we love as well. Love begets love. May it abound through us. Happy Valentine’s Day!