Ash Wednesday or Valentines Day?


If you already looked ahead on the calendar for February, you might have noticed something of a situational irony. February 14th, 2018, Valentine’s Day. Why is it ironic? Well, this year it is also the same day we observe Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

February 14. A day normally hued in red, velvet, chocolate, and loving words. Not February 14, 2018! This day is coloured in black, ashes, fasting, and the promise of death: “…for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19b). We hear no sweet love ballad but only Words from our Creator that kill. Literally. Instead of hearts crossed with arrows we get crosses made from ash.

I don’t think I’ll find it in a Hallmark card this year nor would I want to: “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m going to die a sinner and you are too!” And yet it’s the reality every single one of us face this February 14. The wages of sin is death and all mankind receives this recompense. Where is the love???

Joel 2:13b: “Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love…”. February 14, 2018 will be a day we meet our promised end and return to where the promise of life begins: with God.

So often today when it comes to what love is we latch on to all the giddiness, infatuation, and desires that glitter its surface. Why not right? It’s fun, enjoyable, and certainly contagious. But love is more than that; it is also honest, forthright, and unquestionably forthcoming. If we truly love the person we have a relationship with, we repent and ask for forgiveness when we hurt that individual. We die to ourselves. We meet our own end in order to reconcile what is broken…mend what has been torn. This is love. This is Valentine’s Day 2018.

So let us take the day to say to our God: “I’m sorry Lord. Have mercy on me a sinner.” And our Father replies: “I forgive you. I love you.” We return to Him Who loved us first (1 John 4:10). How? With credence that He is not quick to rage. With confidence in His gracious and merciful disposition towards us. With trust in our Lord’s faithful love that always abounds (See Joel quote above). And our lives begin anew with God. Let us return to where true Love and Life is: in the LORD.

Together in Christ,

Pastor Sam

Webmasters note: We will be holding special Midweek Services each Wednesday throughout Lent, starting on Ash Wednesday. For more details please visit our event calendar.