Mt. Pleasant Lutheran Church

God is Love

March 7th, 2012 by Holly Hess

God is Love  

By Holly Hess

Today I went shopping, hoping to find some pink M&M’s in a Valentine’s clearance bin for a baby shower I’m hosting.  I soon realized that Valentine’s Day, and all of the merchandise associated with it, is a distant memory.  The red roses have dried up, the pink candy has been put away, and the threat of being shot by that creepy little Cupid has passed.  Retailers have moved onto the greener pastures of St. Patrick’s Day.  Love is no longer in the air.
This got me thinking, is Valentine’s really the undisputed season of love?  I don’t think so.  I think the truest season of love is upon us.  I think it’s Lent.

More so than any other season, during Lent we see the full scope of God’s love.
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only son… “, plays out right before our eyes during Lent.  Jesus is the ultimate valentine, the ultimate “Be Mine”, the ultimate example of unconditional love.  During Lent, Jesus assures us that nothing can separate us from God’s love for us.  Because of Jesus’ undying love, any barriers between us and God are our doing.  Not God’s.

Recently, I was talking with a friend who has been away from the church for a long time.  At one point during our conversation she said, “I’m pretty sure I’ve been banned from almost every church by now.” The longer she has stayed away, the more convinced my friend has become that the distance between her and God cannot be closed

Earlier this week I read an article about a woman who was denied communion at her own mother’s funeral by a clergy who didn’t agree with her life choices.  Grieving and deflated, she also perceived the gap between her and God as simply too big.

The truth is, there is no gap.  Even when we draw away from God, God holds us close.  During Lent we are reminded that Jesus closed every gap, removed every road block, broke every barrier between us and our God who loves us.  Nothing we have or have not done can keep us from God’s grace.

As our retail seasons change and Cupid’s hearts are replaced by St. Patrick’s pot of gold, we should remember that of all the symbols of love and good fortune we know, none can compare to the symbol of Lent.  The cross, not the heart, is our truest symbol of abundant and everlasting love.

It’s Lent, and love is most certainly in the air.  The kind of love we can’t earn and God won’t deny.

Romans 8: 39
Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Loving God,
Help me to know the strength of your love and to draw on that love during lent and always.
Amen

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