Part one in a series delving into 1 Corinthians 13.
I don’t know if you noticed but the Christmas baubles had barely been taken down before large inflatable hearts started appearing in the shops and the Valentine’s Day posters went up in the windows. Call me a cynic, but Valentine’s Day appears to be an opportunity for women to extend their Pandora collection and men to stand in florists across the country saying, ‘How much?’ Valentine’s Day always feels a little forced to me which is probably why I’ve never really bought into the celebration.
I did some digging to find out the origins of Valentine’s Day! There is mention of a pagan celebration where the young men of Rome ran around the streets naked but the evidence to link this to Valentine’s Day is sketchy at best. Even it’s Christian heritage refers back to the execution of a number of Saints on the 14th of February; hardly the stuff of romantic, candlelit conversation. Chaucer and Shakespeare took up the mantle of romanticising the month of February and sending valentines became part of our culture.
The realities of love are quite different from the sickly sweet depictions shown on cards and chocolate boxes. When we think of what it truly means to love, the words of 1 Corinthians 13 often come to mind.
(At this point I was going to add the relevant Scripture, but you’ve seen it, you know it and I could sense some of you getting ready to scroll past!)
In many ways ‘the love chapter’ has had the same treatment as Valentine’s Day. It’s been decorated with hearts, adopted as the ‘go-to’ Scripture for couples on their wedding day and printed on mugs and tea towels. Those well-known words are part of a love letter, but it’s not the kind of love letter we’re used to reading. It’s the kind of love letter that is brave enough to speak truth to a friend who has lost their way. It's the kind of love letter where respect and trust have been earned over many years. It's the kind of love letter that shows that both parties involved have battled storms and overcome adversity together. Throughout this month of love, I’ll be exploring ‘the love chapter’ in more depth, taking down the love hearts and spending time looking at these words with fresh eyes.
Join me as we spend the next month reflecting on 1 Corinthians 13.
Follow the link to find out more about Valentine's Day.