These days, Valentine’s Day can be quite the production. This is certainly true in our household, where the children (three of them; 10 and under) make individual cards for Mommy and Daddy, and we return the favor. They also get Valentine’s Day cards from Grandma and Grandpa. I always present my wife, Fran, with the same “kitschy” fake rose in a vase every year (you press a button, and the battery-operated rose opens). I call it post-modern irony but feel free to call me “cheap,” if your preference is for 12, long-stemmed red roses.
What I don’t do is “short change” the opportunity to express love; as God created us to love, to express love and to receive love. In the first Letter of John, Chapter 4, verse 18, we read:
“God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” Valentine’s Day gives us the opportunity to intentionally practice the love of God in ways that might well be wrapped in romance or familial love, as a sign of a deeper love that resides within us, like those who believe we are made in the image of God.
St. Valentine and all of the saints point us to the care of one’s neighbor as the defining principle of Christian love. Therefore, uplifting the needs of others gives us an opportunity to put Christ’s love into action and point to God as the source of that love. To that end, I invite you to join in the drive-up food drive that our church and Irvington Presbyterian Church are running together to show our shared commitment to God’s love and to extend our collective hearts into the world. See below for details.
Onward in Hope and Love,
Gareth Evans serves as the rector of St. Barnabas. He is an inspirational leader who brings significant pastoral experience, a depth of reverence in worship, and a relatable preaching style.