The years come and go; and sometimes I forget to think about some of the things that were so important to me as a youngster in grammar school. I don’t know about you, but tonight I was thinking about Mom taking my brothers and me to the variety store to buy packages of Valentines for distribution to our classmates at school. I remember working on them at home – and how on Valentine’s Day I would bring all my cards to school, in the little white envelopes that came with them – and pass them out to all my classmates.
It was quite a production. We would all go around the classroom and leave our cards on each person’s desk. I made a pretty big deal out of it. I would have a list of everyone in the grade and would very systemically sign and address each Valentine with the recipient’s name. I always brought all the ones I received home to open they carefully and thoughtfully on our kitchen table after we were done with school for the day. It was really special, when I was really young, to receive cards from the teacher. I always felt special when I got a card from Mrs. Longfield, in second grade, or Mrs. Becic, my third grade teacher.
But as time went on, things changed. I remember the first year that everyone didn’t get Valentines from everyone else. In other words, people started to play favorites. Now I know that Valentines are for the people you like best or love most, but as kids, it represented the first time that we realized that you didn’t have to treat everyone the same. Kind of like birthday parties. Early on, in kindergarten, everybody got invited to birthday parties. In fact, in our school, we actually celebrated in the classroom. Then later on, you developed best friends and suddenly, you didn’t ask everyone to come to your house for your party. It was disappointing in the beginning and then, later on, the celebration of birthdays and Valentine’s Day at school started to fall out of favor. Back then, if you didn’t include everyone, it just didn’t seem right to do. Of course, we don’t think that way anymore. It seems that anything goes.
God gives the best Valentines. In fact, everyone in the world gets a love note from God every day. Because God the Father sent His Son Jesus to sacrifice His life for everyone. In fact, the Bible is God’s Valentine’s Day card to each of us. And we just don’t get to read His card to us, we are offered a free gift of salvation as well. How much better can a love note get? And what better demonstration of love for us? Yes, God is the ultimate when it comes to expressing His love for us.
The verse for this evening is from Jude 1-2, where we are told, “To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” By the way, we are all loved by God! My encouragement this evening is that God wants you to know how much He loves you this Valentine’s Day – and every day. My prayer is that you will open your Valentine from God and realize that He went to great effort to make sure that He picked out a unique, special way of expressing His love for you. Happy Valentine’s Day, and have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…