People get wrapped up on Valentines Day and then forget what it was all about the rest of the time. Now we have folks trying to make the whole month about love so that we can forget about it the rest of the year I guess. There is a great human tendency to forget why we do something or celebrate something.
Paul sometimes had trouble remembering. He left Troas in such a rush he forgot his jacket and books (2 Timothy 4:13 ). In Philippians 3 Paul states, “one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”.…Paul could not remember if he baptized anyone other than the family of Stephanas when he wrote to the Corinthians. I believe that his forgetting had more to do with the factions that used the Apostles like mascots for their favorite team, but he says he couldn’t remember so I believe him.
We have trouble remembering too. Since we are easily bored and people are always looking for ways to get us to spend more money, February is starting to be referred to as “the love month.” We all have probably forgotten that Valentine’s Day, (February 14th), is the commemoration of a priest in Rome during the 3rd century, who was known for secretly marrying young couples in the church when there was an edict against doing so. We could say that this Priests love for Christ was genuine for he hated what was evil and held fast to what is good even to the point of death. Rather than celebrate love for a month he gave his life for it.
We will soon be entering into the season of Lent; a time in the church year when we are encouraged to reflect on the love of Christ for sinners. Needless to say Pastors will spend a great deal of time in the next 40 some days trying to get people to remember what they are and what Christ did to free and redeem and save them. Jesus set his “face like flint and resolutely set out for Jerusalem to suffer and die”. We will set our faces like flint and resolutely set out to the hockey game, the theater, the basketball court, the ice fishing house, the local Navaho basket weaving class, Arizona, Florida, or whatever Southern State is currently undergoing global warming and give nary a thought to what this all means, unless reminded.
“It is a time to consider what genuine love looks like; what evil is worth hating; what good is worth holding onto”. I have that in quotes but I can’t remember who wrote it. Seriously. I don’t know where it came from. It is a quote that I got from somewhere and pasted into my notes but have no idea where it came from. This isn’t even selective forgetting. If you know who wrote that let me know. It is a great statement, at least to me, of what Lent should be about. Paul said it first but whoever put it that way writes well.
“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good …” Romans 12 verse 9