A Reflection on Valentine’s Day by Sister Elizabeth Langmead, MHSH
“Love, love changes everything…how you live and how you die…pain is deeper than before…love will turn your world around…yes, love, love changes everything…brings you glory, brings you shame…love makes fools of everyone…yes love, love changes everyone…love will never, never let you be the same.” (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
Is this the love we celebrate on Valentine’s Day? Have we (have you) known such a love? When we profess that God is Love are we ready for the cost of love? What has love cost you this year? Has love turned your world around…made you a fool… changed you forever?
We’ve just finished reflections and prayer on Christian Unity…what does it mean to be unified? This day, Saint Valentine’s Day, is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion as well as in the Lutheran Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church (celebrated in July) to name a few. Can we have unity without love and can we have love without forgiveness?
Corrie ten Boom’s teaching focused on the Christian Gospel with emphasis on forgiveness. In her book Tramp for the Lord (1974), she tells the story of an encounter while she was teaching in Germany in 1947. She was approached by a former Ravensbrück concentration camp guard who had been known as one of the cruelest. Reluctant to forgive him, she prayed that she would be able to. She wrote:
“For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.” (from wikipedia)
So perhaps we can take some time this Valentine’s Day in between the flowers and the chocolates and the cute message hearts, to think about what it is we profess on this “heart” day. Is it a love that changes everything? Do our encounters with another leave us changed? What would our lives be like with such a love? What would our world look like with such a love?