Valentine’s Day is fraught with mixed opinions and emotions. The skeptics deride it as a money sapping marketing ploy. The singles dread it as it feels like you’re walking through a city centre wearing an ‘I’m a failure and I’m frustrated’ T-shirt with everyone staring at you. The forced embracers reluctantly do something for their loved one as to avoid the ‘dog house’. And I am convinced there are some who genuinely love it and use it as a way to demonstrate their love.
It caused me to think of how often we cheapen the meaning of ‘love’. An overused word. An abused word. A precious word, in many circumstances, robbed of its meaning…
In The Fifth Element, Leeloo, gets to W in the encyclopaedia. Probably the most powerful scene in the movie is when this perfect being – a god, really – looks at war, and we see flashes of all of the horrible wars of this century. Pictures of concentration camps, atom bombs, death and carnage. And a single tear slides down her cheek. She collapses into a faint, and has to be carried into the pyramid. After everything else is in place, she is put in the middle of the pyramid, and must do her job, but she seems limp and faint. Bruce Willis, who plays a guy called Korben Dallas, is trying to get her to do her job. He says to her, “Come on, you’ve got to save the world.” And she replies, “Why should I save life, when I’ve seen what you do with it!”. He looks at her and says, “There is something worth saving. It’s love.” She replies: “I don’t know love.” All seems lost, until he kisses her. Then she saves the world.
Surely there’s got to be more to than that to love. I feel like the greatest Love has found out me, picked me and gave Himself for me through His death at the Cross. Jesus is the love that is ever-present, never-ending, all-embracing.
Wherever you are in this ‘love’ game today, skeptic, single, married, hopelessly romantic or reluctant ‘player along’ – I want to remind you that God showed His love for you in Christ:
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3:16
‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’ John 15:13
‘This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.’ 1 John 3:16
And something else. As you discover Him as your true love, He will enable to love you those around you with His extravagant, out-of-this world brand of love. This is what it looks like:
‘Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies.’ 1 Corinthians 13:6-8