February 13

“It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

“My sheep hear my voice.  I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.  No one will snatch them out of my hand.”  John 10;

Today is Valentines’ Day Eve … the day before “Hearts and Flowers”, wine and chocolate, candlelight.  But first it’s getting kids ready and off to school, making lunches, going to work; maybe gym, laundry, dusting; sending our love … texting, calling, mailing love notes, visiting loved ones.  All this is love … co-worker /friend/family, the other 364 days, “have I told you lately …” kind of love.  “I love that …” We speak love for what is tangible, what we can see, hear, taste, smell and touch; our family and friends; our country and our home. 

God is love.  Immanuel, God with us … everywhere, every day, all day kind of love.  God understands our need to love and be loved.  Jesus loved his mother and father; Mary and Martha and Lazarus; his colleagues; children; also “ne’er-do-wells”, lepers, people he didn’t really know, and enemies; those we would fear and mistrust and find so hard to love.  He gave up his life for all these, for us, for all. 

Today’ verses are God’s valentine, a love letter, to us.  “I will not fail or forsake you.  Don’t be afraid.  No one can take you away from me.”  God will stay with us … whether richer or poorer, in sickness and in health; and we affirm our Baptism, confirm our faith, renew our vow to “love, honor, and obey”, to listen for God’s voice and to follow. 

What would God write on those Necco candy hearts?  “I’m Yours”  “Be Mine”  “True Love”  “Forever” … a great love story.

Loving God, You have promised to be with us when we pass through the waters and walk through the fire.  You have redeemed us and called us by name.  We are yours.  Amen

Verla Olson