Tag Archives: Valentine’s

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Jesus Is…Christ

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Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? If you have a “special someone” in your life – whether it is your wife or husband, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your children – you probably want to start to think about Valentine’s Day and how you can express your love and affection. From chocolates to red paper hearts, there will be many expressions of love and affection exchanged once again this Valentine’s Day.

God has also expressed his love to you. In fact, there is no greater act of love than the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus for our salvation. All of the Bible, God’s massive greeting card to all human beings, revolves around this one supreme act of unconditional love!

That tremendous expression of love can be highlighted in a simple little word and title. Unfortunately, we often use this word in vain as we cry out in surprise or curse our bad luck, but Christ is a title of Jesus that truly expresses God’s love for us.

What does the word Christ mean?

Matthew begins his book of the Bible by recording the genealogy of Jesus: “…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” (Matthew 1:16). As Matthew sets the tone for his Gospel, he is careful to note that Jesus was revered as Christ. This title is a form of the Greek word chrio meaning “to pour or anoint.” To anoint was to pour sacred oil over someone’s head as a visible sign that God had set him aside for a special task. Jesus bore the title Christ because he was the one God anointed – set aside – to be the world’s Savior.

Another biblical writer, John, reveals Jesus as the Word made flesh and then describes Andrew’s excitement when he met Jesus: “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ)” (John 1:41). Andrew bursts forth in joyful acclamation. He used the title Messiah, which is the Hebrew equivalent of Christ, “the Anointed One.”

The Gospel writer John is keen to point out that from the time Jesus presented himself publicly the hope of the ages was intimately associated with salvation in Jesus. Yes, at the time of his baptism Jesus’ anointing as the Christ took place in an eye-opening way: “heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17). Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of God and received the clear approval of his heavenly Father; a divine endorsement!

Because Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, he is the one God chose, even from ancient times, to bring salvation; redeeming us from the curse of sin!

There is no greater act of love! Jesus, the Christ, is God’s magnificent valentine to you!

 


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Hearts in Envelope

February 2013

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Perfect Love?

However, you have experienced this kind of love in your life.  This kind of love, this perfect love, has been poured out lavishly upon you by God your heavenly Father.  He poured out this love on you as the blood of his Son Jesus Christ spilled for you.  God’s patience lasted, through Jesus.  God’s just anger was stayed by Jesus.  Jesus did not boast in pride, but in humility made his way to the cross for you.  The only red in God’s record book is the blood of Christ that has covered each one of us. God’s love persevered through hell for you.

Will the love bug be catching you later this month? Will you have cards written, chocolates bought, flowers wrapped, and a table reserved? To put it bluntly, are you ready for Valentine’s Day?

On Valentine’s Day we like to celebrate love.  We do that in cute ways as our children give their classmates those punch out Valentine’s cards based on the latest Disney movie, comic book characters, or princesses complete with the red and pink wrapped candies.  As we get older, V-day becomes a little more serious, and we maybe take advantage of the aura of Valentine’s as we ask someone out on that first date. Valentine’s Day might even lose some of its significance the older we get, but whenever it comes around we do seem to pay a little more attention to “love.”

In 1 Corinthians 13 the apostle Paul talks about love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

How does the love we show measure up to that description?  Sadly, whether it is on Valentine’s Day or throughout the rest of the year, that kind of love is hard for us to maintain.  Our patience can only go so far.  The boiling pot of envy is hard to cover. Sometimes we just have to boast about our accomplishments, and our record books have numerous red checkmarks against others.  Sometimes our trust and hope fail.  We so often fail to demonstrate this love, because sin stains the love we try to show.

Interestingly enough, this year Valentine’s Day falls one day after Ash Wednesday.  The first thing to come to your mind on Ash Wednesday may not be love, but think about it a little bit.  As we recognize our deep seeded sins, we also turn to recognize God’s deep-welled love, the love that led to our forgiveness.

 Reflection:

1) How might you use Valentine’s Day to talk to your children, or a friend, about God’s incredible love for them?

2) How might you use Ash Wednesday to talk to your children, or a friend, about God’s incredible love for them?

3) Based on your answers above, write a prayer asking God to open up opportunities in your life to share his amazing love.

Lent?

What is “Lent”?  Lent is the traditional term we use for the period of 40 days that lead up to Easter.  In the Christian Calendar it is a season of preparation.  We prepare to celebrate Jesus resurrection on Easter Sunday morning, as we contemplate why he was in the grave in the first place.  Often Lent focuses on the pain and suffering Jesus’ endured on our behalf and for our sins.

Some Christians have a tradition of “giving up” something for Lent.  While this may not be a bad practice, and can lead us to concentrate on Jesus more, it is not a demand that God makes of us.  Our Sunday morning services in Lent will focus on different things that God does call us to give up so that we may see him more clearly.

During Lent, we will also hold special devotional services on  Wednesday evenings.  Various pastor from our nearby sister congregations will lead these services.  It will be a great opportunity to hear someone other than Pastor Boushek. Please join us for these midweek opportunities.  The services will be at 6:15pm.  A soup and salad fellowship meal will be offered prior to these services at 5:30pm. Please note that there will not be a meal prior to the Ash Wednesday service on February 13th.


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