Are you celebrating or taking time to reflect on Valentine’s Day? This holiday started centuries ago to be about martyrs’ love before it was about romantic love. Martyrs usually suffer because of their deep love for someone or something, often a belief or cause for good, good being a description of love. Love is good. It is said “God is love” and “anyone who does not love, does not know God”. (1 John 4:8)
Love often requires giving up things we might want for ourselves for an important issue or for someone else who matters to us. Jesus, like many martyrs, offered his life for all whom he loves. And Jesus loves everyone. Everyone matters to God and to Jesus. Jesus left his final commandment to his disciples, that if they love him, to love others as He loved them (and us).
What can we give up for another for Valentine’s Day? Time, a sweet message on a card or text, a gift that pleases, a big hug, a romantic dinner or lunch celebration around the person, the object of our love.
I encourage you to take a little time to reflect on what or who matters the most to you or needs your attention. Take a few deep breaths in silence with your eyes closed, to block out distractions, and ask yourself these questions: “Who or What is most important to me? Who or What needs my attention?” Then notice who or what first comes to mind. Perhaps it is someone or something you have neglected lately or for a while. Perhaps it is your own self that needs some affection and attention. Maybe it is God, a family member or friend, a beloved pet. Perhaps a person you know just a little or an important issue is what comes to mind. Then ask yourself what you might ‘sacrifice’ or give up to honor that person or thing today and see what ideas freely flow into your mind.