Apparently in recent years nearly a billion pounds was spent in the UK on Valentine's Day which we celebrate this coming Sunday. The main expense was on romantic meals so presumably not so much will be spent in 2021 for obvious reasons!
The association of romantic love and devotion with Valentine's Day possibly started in the fourteenth century and is linked to a poem by Chaucer about lovebirds. However, the feast day of Saint Valentine dates back to the third century when a clergyman called Valentine was martyred because he expressed his devotion to Christ by serving persecuted Christians. Valentine, in his devotion to Christ, wasn't so in love with himself but was willing to die for Christ. This resolve is an echo of the words of the Apostle John in Revelation 12:11 - 'for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death.'
Two days after Valentine's Day we celebrate Shrove Tuesday or Pancake day and then the season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The season of Lent, I think, is an opportunity for us to express our love and devotion to Christ through sacrifice, self-denial and repentance as we anticipate the ultimate act of love and devotion in the crucifixion of Christ - 'God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.' Romans 5
During this season of Lent how might you express your love and devotion to Christ through giving something up or taking something on that will encourage you to be with Jesus?
Below are details of some resources and services that you might find helpful in seeking to be with Jesus:
The Church of England Lent Reflections - From Ash Wednesday (17 February) to Easter Sunday (4 April), there will be six reflections for each week. Each reflection will include a short passage from the Bible, a brief exploration of the reading and a prayer.
The daily reflections are available through a free app, emails, smart speakers and audio. Click here for more details.
Guernsey Deanery Ash Wednesday Service - join with others on Zoom from across the Deanery at 7.30pm on the 17th February for an Ash Wednesday service.
Join Zoom Meeting
Agape Meal on Zoom! - Sunday 14th February at 4pm. We will say some prayers, sing some hymns, look at the Bible and share a 'meal'.
What is an Agape Meal? Also known as a ‘Love Feast’, it is a fellowship meal recalling the meals Jesus shared with his disciples and expressing the ‘koinonia’ or community enjoyed by the family of Christ. The Agape Meal derives from early church meals such as are referred to by Paul and symbolise the unity of fellowship in the love of Christ which we share.
You will need at least one candle, bread and wine - the primary symbols of the Agape Meal. In these days of lock-down use what you have. No bread and wine? Use juice and crackers. The important thing is that you share a meal of some sort and pray together.
Download the order of service from the Latest News on our website.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 812 3034 7508
As we continue to focus on Practising the way of Jesus below are some Apps that we would recommend: