St Valentine’s Day could be a celebration of love, a reminder to express appreciation for others and a moment to be blessed and be a blessing. I fear it is becoming an opportunity for the exploitation of couples by commercial pressures, an excuse to sell more cards, flowers and chocolates and an occasion that exacerbates loneliness, isolation and low self-worth.
Am I becoming cynical, paranoid or sensitive? It may be all three!
The problem is that any celebration will exclude some people. Non-Christians can be excluded by Christmas or Easter (although it does not seem to bother the majority of the present and chocolate-egg buying public). Non-parents can feel excluded on Mothering Sunday. Those who are not invited to a birthday party may feel excluded (even though we can’t invite everyone).
I guess the issues are whether we deliberately exclude someone and whether we make sure we minimise the hurt felt. Jesus was a great includer, and invites us to follow his example. I am constantly alert to the possibility that the way we do church and are church may be excluding people whom he would want to include.
|Love is… not asking how much the new dress cost|
|Love is… combing over his bald patch|
|Love is… allowing her to take over the bathroom|
|Love is… allowing her to warm her cold feet on yours|