Monthly Reflection – January/February 2018
So Valentine’s day has been and gone once again and some of you will have received gifts or cards from either partners of spouses- others will be wondering who the card was from and some of you may have not received any cards at all!
Every year there seem to be more and more elaborate ways of letting the one you love know how you feel about them on one day of the year- in the UK we spent over £950 million pounds on Valentines gifts in 2016……. That is a huge bunch of roses and amounts to the budget of our very own Constabulary for around five and a half years!
When we think about Valentine’s day this year it falls at the beginning of Lent- a time where we as Christians consider sacrificing something for the lent period whilst reflecting on our own lives in preparation for the celebration of Easter- some join in this tradition of abstinence or fasting whilst others choose not to- I for one will abstain from Chocolate till Easter.
When we think about Valentine’s celebration and the out pouring of Love on 14th February I want to ask you if the 14th February is the only day that you pour that Love out? Is Valentines the only day that your ‘significant other’ knows you love them? I hope and expect the answer to both those questions to be ‘No’!
Love in all its forms is not a one day a year event or feeling- showing love to those around us must be on-going, generous and genuine! I tell Mrs Evans and the girls that I love them every day- I don’t spend hundreds of pounds on flowers during the year and I am not always seen in the Chocolate aisle at the supermarket buying elaborate chocolate creations for them!
However I do show my love to them in other ways that may not seem so elaborate but equally show them that I love them- Tea in bed every day (when I am home) for Mrs Evans, checking on Abigail and Holly every night and tucking them in before I go to bed, taking time to take the time to be there for them – even if it does mean watching the ‘Tinkerbell’ movie for the tenth time this week…. (Other films are available). I know that these things mean more to my family than once a year grand gestures; and I do them because I want to show them Love not because I have to out of obligation!
If we think about Love we must remember that we as Christians are called to Love everyone…… Yes everyone!
Love for those around us isn’t reserved for our family and friends- we must be the ones who show love to those all around us! We can do that in many ways- but obviously too many to list! I recently spoke to a friend who has been having a really tough time- they have felt isolated, alone and totally unsure about how the future was going to play out for them- the simple and straight forward act of me listening to them, showing understanding and praying with and for them was enough for them to know they were not alone and were loved!
During Lent many people sign up to the ’40 acts of kindness’ programme where they try and do 40 random acts of love and kindness during lent to ‘spread the love around’. I often randomly buy the next person in the queue a coffee (mostly anonymously)- or give them my ‘loyalty card’ that entitles them to a free drink- not much I know but after the initial shock of doing something nice they usually smile and say thank you!
In scripture we read in John 13- ‘A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.’
Love is and must be selfless- we read in the scripture in the picture at the beginning of this reflection about the ultimate sacrifice made for us on the cross- for me on the cross even though I don’t deserve it- that is Love!
So this year don’t just think about love for 24 hours- take Love into the world for the rest of the year- Be generous, be selfless- don’t let anyone wonder if you will love them tomorrow!
Have a Blessed month and pray for me as I avoid Chocolate…..