A New View on Valentine's Day

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This year Valentine’s Day, February 14th, happens to fall on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. There is something fitting about Valentine’s Day falling on the first day of Lent, as the Christian Church invites believers around the world to take 40 days and “journey towards to cross of Jesus.” Lent is carved out as a time of prayer, a time of self-sacrifice, where people are encouraged to fast, to give up something, to enter a time of confession, and draw our attention towards the Week of Passion. The week of Passion begins on March 25th, and is called Palm Sunday and Good Friday, when churches around the world will remember the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. There is no greater act of love demonstrated in all of creation, than that which is celebrated on Good Friday. This year, Easter Sunday falls on April 1st, and that’s no joke. During the season of Lent, Mountainview will be looking at the 7 last words of Jesus on the cross, beginning on February 18th, with his words; “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing,” from Luke 23:26-34. We will also begin this season of Lent, by celebrating the Lord’s Supper. On February 25th we’ll listen to his words; “Today you will be with me in paradise,” words spoken by Jesus, in Luke 23:34-43, to a convicted criminal who hung beside him on his own cross. On March 4th, we’ll listen to the words; “Behold, your son. Behold your mother,” from John 16:16-27, as Jesus still has eyes for his loved ones. On March 11th, we’ll hear Jesus quote from Psalm 22, saying My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” On March 18th, we’ll hear Jesus cry out “I am thirsty,” from John 19:28,29, which will then bring us to Palm Sunday. There we will listen again to him saying “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit,” from Luke 23:44-49. On Good Friday, we’ll listen to his words; “It is finished,” in a Friday evening Tenebrae Service. Each of these 7 last words help magnify God’s love for us in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and our whole Lenten journey begins on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, where many will celebrate the gift of love. May your understanding of love on Valentine’s Day only increase and be magnified in this season of Lent.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pastor Sid

Karin Terpstra