February is often referred to as the month of love, since we celebrate Valentine’s Day. We see stores decorated for this holiday, and many advertisers will be promoting the spirit of giving. In fact, our church is taking orders for flowers and See’s candies that you may purchase for that special person in your life. For me it is an opportunity to think about how love is present in the world, not just the romantic, tickle your toes sort of love, but the kind of love the hymn above talks about. I mean the love for those who hate you, the love for those who are suffering, or the love for the hungry, the harder kind of love. Love is not always easy; often we have to work hard to love others. We put ourselves at risk of being hurt if our love is not returned, or if it is taken for granted. Love for those who we cannot see, but hear about, those who live in different circumstances than ours takes effort to understand them and the love they need.
Valentine’s day is not just for lovers; it is also a day to celebrate love, and those who love even when it is hard to do. Consider giving the persons you admire a gift of love this Valentine’s day, a word of thanks, flowers perhaps, candy maybe, let’s make this a month to honor the presence of those witnesses to God’s way.