This year we were in the unique position to celebrate both Ash Wednesday and Valentines' Day on the same day. This hasn't happened since 1945!
I find this to be an amazing coming together of two great celebrations!
Valentines' Day is the one day a year that is set aside to tell family, friends, loved ones, and really, anyone, that they are special to you.
We get to do this any way we want! There is no set rule. No gifts are expected. Cards are nice, flowers are nice, food, and meals out are nice. The children can make things and they mean the world to those they love.
It's hard to contain the children at school on Valentines' Day. All the other days of the school year the parties don't hold the anticipation that a Valentines' Day party holds. They anxiously wait to hand out what they have for their friends, classmates, teachers, and staff. They get excited not only with what they are given, but with how their classmates and the others react with what they have chosen to give.
I love to watch the tokens that are handed out that day.
The day saddens me as well, as there are children who don't hand out items. They face disappointment with having nothing to give. Their friends don't seem to notice this in our Lutheran School, they simply accept that some children can't give. We have the policy that if you give you give to all, everyone receives something on Valentines' Day.
I like that this year Ash Wednesday & Valentines' Day were on the same day.
This year as we began to study our LORD's journey to the cross, we can see the anticipation that He faced - the knowledge that He was giving out of the greatest LOVE. Christ was going to the cross to give the greatest Valentine of all! He was going to give us eternal Salvation!
We have nothing that we can give Him in return for this salvation. We know that according to Ephesians 2:8-9 We know that it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.
We see the love that the Father has shone down on us and that the reason we love is because He first loved us! (1 John 4:19)
So, as we go through this Lenten Season, remember this year, it started with not one but two special days, both connected to hearts. One heart bigger than we can imagine and the other hearts connected through eternity by the Spirit of the Living God. (Genesis 1:26-28)
Vicki Helmling is a teacher at Grace English Lutheran School