February is largely known for one thing: Valentine’s Day. Yes, there are other holidays. However, ask most people what is special about February and they’ll reply with “Valentine’s.” Candy hearts, red roses, balloons, heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates, and Nat King Cole singing “L-O-V-E”. Love. In my opinion, it’s the best word that sums up February.
I don’t know how you feel about Valentine’s Day. If you’re in your 20s, single, and want that “special someone” in your life (as Great-Aunt Rita would say), you are very likely just trying to avoid that feeling of loneliness which so easily can creep into your life. If you’re between the ages of 1-19, your eyes might be rolling while you attempt to dodge the love-struck sibling or friend at the Valentine’s Day party.
Whatever your view of Valentine’s is, what I’m going to say next is important for each and every one of us: Don’t get lost in love for each other. “WHAT?!” Some of you are saying. “You’re crazy! That’s what Valentine’s is for! To show those we love that we care about them!” And you’re exactly right. But while we go about showing our love for our friends and family, February is the best month to remember someone who demonstrated the ultimate sacrifice of love: Jesus Christ. Roughly 2,000 years ago, he came to the earth as a baby. For 33 years he lived a life just like you and me (besides the miracles he did and the perfect life he lived). And then – he died. On a cross. An excruciating death. But he didn’t die for something he had done. He died because he was showing his love for you and me.
John 15:13 tells us that “greater love hath no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (ESV). Jesus showed how much he loved us by laying down his life for imperfect people who do stupid, imperfect, things. He died and rose again so that we might have eternal life with him. His was the ultimate sacrifice of love.
So while we go about celebrating Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to stop and remember what Christ did for you and me in his death on the cross. When we show love to others, we’re simply mirroring his great love for us.