Feel the Love

I went to the H-E-B (our local grocery store, for my non-Texas friends) last evening with my youngest son to pick up some Valentine's Day cards and treats for his class party today.  

I was feeling kind of guilty for doing it all last minute, but I think our family deserves a little grace, considering we're in the process of moving again.  

At any rate, as Jacob and I walked in to the store, we realized we were definitely not alone.  The place was mobbed with people buying Valentine's day paraphernalia.  

I took a look around at all of the people holding flowers, heart-shaped candy boxes and the like.  I wondered if it was guilt that dragged them out late on a Monday evening to make sure they didn't stiff their significant other on Valentine's Day.  

As I looked around at all of the people crowding the H-E-B, my heart broke a little, and then I got self-righteous.  "Love shouldn't be commercialized," I thought. "It shouldn't be something you express out of duty or obligation because some Hallmark holiday demands it."  

This morning, I was reading the parent newsletter that our own Director of Children's Ministries, Chris Gordon, wrote for today.  When I read it, I instantly felt convicted about my jaded thoughts.   

"Some may call it a "Hallmark Holiday" in a cynical sense," she wrote, "...but I say, as followers of Christ, LOVE is our hallmark."

That is some true stuff, right there.  Valentine's Day is the perfect day to consider the nature of true love, and for Christians true love looks like Jesus.  As I was writing this devotion, a Christian song by Clay Crosse came to mind:  

It all comes down to a man dying on a cross
Saving the world
Rising from the dead
Doing what He said He would do

Loving everyone He saw

May you celebrate this holiday dedicated to Love by drawing closer to the One who "loved us and gave himself for us," sacrificially and unconditionally.  May you give of yourself to the world around you as an outpouring of gratitude for that love.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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