The church column with Rev Neville Simpson

Rev Neville Simpson.
Rev Neville Simpson.

We are in February again and the 14th is the significant date unless you are more interested in rugby!

We all have memories of Valentine’s Day good or bad.

Many affirm their love for each other with roses on Valentine's Day.

Many affirm their love for each other with roses on Valentine's Day.

Many people affirm their love for each other on the day and say to the special person in their lives ‘I love you’ something many of us should say more than we do especially us men. I wonder what do we mean when we say ‘I love you’ what is it we are trying to convey. Do we muddle up romance with love.

The Oxford Dictionary has a few definitions of romance “Love, especially when sentimental or idealised” or “A quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.”

There is nothing wrong with either definition and from what I remember of courtship it is a marvellous way to feel but is it love?

Or to put it another way is that all love is? Today we describe love as an emotion for example “I’m falling in love” which implies it is something that might or might not happen and over which we have no control.

The Christian writers in the New Testament would be very puzzled by that view of love. For them and for Christians today love is not an emotion it is an action.

Perhaps the best known passage in the bible on love is a chapter in a letter St Paul sends to the church in Corinth. It says there is nothing greater than love. This love however is something you can’t buy but is more precious than anything else. It costs nothing but is worth everything when it is freely given. Love decides to be patient and kind with others. Love decides not to envy, be proud or boastful. Love decides never to be rude. Love decides to seek what is best for the other even if that is costly for you.

Love is transformational and costly not in the way roses are but in the way you live. There is no greater gift than love; there is no costlier gift than love; and there is no gift that brings more joy.

In the song “Love Changes Everything” from the musical “Aspects of Love” the last line of the song is ‘Love will never, never let you be the same’ and it’s true it won’t. So as well as the card and the roses give the one you love your commitment to put love into action. And as a postscript that’s what Jesus Christ did when he died on a cross for all humanity and that means for you and me.