One of my favorite songs is All You Need is Love by the Beetles and it seems proper as we approach Valentine’s Day. We are officially in the season of “love” where pink hearts are in stores, schools and pretty much everywhere. During this time we are invited to acknowledge our appreciation for those that we care the most through valentine cards and a personal highlight, chocolates and flower exchange! On Tuesday many will take time to share love, gratitude in different forms of affection to friends, family members, etc. I am reminded that not too long ago we were participating similar actions as part of the Christmas Celebration.
Both Valentine’s Day and the Christmas Celebration are enfolded with the embodiment of love. During Christmas we are reminded of the AGAPE love of God to us. Through the incarnation of The Word, God not only gives a liberating testimony to the eternal love, but also provides with THE role model to follow. It is in the example of Jesus that we are called be the love to all.
As part of the Valentine’s Day celebration we are encouraged to let those that hold an important place in our lives know that they are appreciated and loved. I am very grateful and truly blessed for the mentors, guides, wisdom figures, family and friends that I love. During my prayer I say their names, see their face and realize that all of them have played an important role in my understanding of God’s love. I also acknowledge that the sentiment of love and gratitude is not restricted to a day, but is a grace given to me every day.
The bottom line is that the people in our lives all contribute to our relationship with God allowing us to be in communion! Through our participation in communion we are to be in relationship with diverse individuals, united in the wholeness that only God can provide. It is here that we can actually touch, embrace and give love to the God that resides in the individuals in our communities, but in turn we can have tangible experience Gods love for us. A friend recently explained to be that common union or communion in community takes place through common unity.
In looking back at my relationships, there are a few that did not start like the ideal friendships, others that have been very bumpy and others that have taken hard work to maintain. My personal network of loved ones involves relationships that have experience conflict. While conflict was not pleasant, I realize that it came out of love and it provided me many insightful lessons. I am reminded that Jesus is inviting me to love even when I and others are not very lovable. I am invited to take a risk, be intimate in time of conflict and put into practice the skills that we are learning in the ICN; to be respectful of the differences and have the ability to negotiate and compromise.
So as we celebrate Valentine’s Day and every day, let us not forget that God loves us immensely; beyond all imagination. Jesus is encouraging us to be in relationship with each other and embrace our need to be intimate with others and the God in them.
I conclude my post by sharing a rendition of “All You Need is Love” which was recorded at the same time in over 150 countries to share some love and create awareness.
As a final note, I will gladly accept hugs and chocolates on Valentine's and always!
Some Fun Facts:
- Flowers: The most popular days for flower exchanges are 1) Christmas/Hanukkah, 2) Mother’s Day and 3) Valentine’s Day. (http://www.aboutflowers.com/holiday-statistics.html)
- Proposals: Contrary to popular belief, the day where most wedding proposals take place is Christmas and Christmas Eve. (http://elitedaily.com/social-news/most-popular-day-engaged-facebook/1330028/)
- Chocolates: The top days for candy/chocolate giving are 1) Easter, 2) Halloween and 3) Valentines (http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/24/easter-wins-the-candy-battle.html)
- Everyday: We are invited to embrace God’s infinite love for us and are to share this love with each other every day!