As if Easter falling on April Fool’s Day isn’t enough, this year Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday also share the same date. For some will-powered people, that heart-shaped box of chocolates may find itself on a shelf at the back of the freezer for a while.
Let’s reflect a moment though–are the sobriety of lent and the joy of honoring those we love so diametrically opposed? Actually, I don’t think so. They really fit together perfectly.
The reason is simple. The greatest love story of all is the story of Jesus and His mission on earth. He came to earth so we could go to heaven. To accomplish that, He had to perform the ultimate act of love: He laid down His earthly life so we could have life eternal.
Before He allowed Himself to be put to death to gain our redemption, however, He had a New Covenant to establish–and a ministry to carry out. And He did so relentlessly. For three years He traveled, taught, healed, preached, and forgave. His mercy knew no bounds, and His love had no limits. He stood up to authority figures in religion and government and bent down to heal the sick and forgive the sinner.
His love was a perfect love. One to celebrate and be grateful for, not just on Valentine’s Day or Ash Wednesday, but every day.