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19th February 2023 - Weekly Noticesheet

Sunday before Lent - Valentine

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During the last week Valentines’ Day was celebrated by many, and during this coming week, with the beginning of Lent, many will celebrate Ash Wednesday. Both celebrate Love.

Remember the song Love is in the air {John PaulYoung in 1978}? Or John Lennon’s 1967 hit All you need is love? (which the Beatles sang of course). Most songs seem to be written around one of the human emotions, love being perhaps the most common.

The Bible contains many songs and poems and is the greatest love story ever written. God loved first (1 John 4:19).And he loved so much so that he gave his Son (John 3:16). We use the word love quite freely and frivolously really, for all sorts of things.When very few, if any times that we use it, do we mean the same unconditional love as God. I celebrate the love that was shared last week.

But am not sure any love shared on Valentine’s Day will be to the same degree. God loves each of us unconditionally and completely. And so much that HE GAVE his Son to die for us. Wow!

After we disobeyed God (eating the forbidden fruit), we hear in Genesis 3 God saying to Adam and Eve “...until you return to the ground. For out of it you were taken; For dust you are and to dust you shall return.” These words are not just uttered at burial services, but also at services held and prayers prayed on Ash Wednesday.They recall the judgment for disobedience that God placed on humankind. But they also display the love God has for us that he gave of himself to suffer this death, and to show us that it need not be the end.

This unconditional, complete, absolute, and all-encompassing love is very different to ours. But is one we should accept, aspire to, seek, and share.

Shalom Si

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