Valentine's Day. A day saturated with reds and pinks and glitter and sparkle. People go out of their way to buy flowers and all kinds of chocolates. Those who can afford it, splurge on things like diamonds or perfume.
Did you know that research shows that people spend over 15 billion dollars on perfume every year? As a result, the perfume industry has invested millions of dollars in research, trying to find new scents that will appeal to buyers. It would seem like consumers are consumed with elaborate displays of this thing called love.
If I were to ask you, "what is love?” Maybe we would have similar definitions, or even similar experiences. We often equate love to happiness. In general we believe love involves and invokes feeling -- and in our society it is often romanticized by music, literature, and media. But there has to be more to love than that.
The Bible tells us that one day Jesus was the guest of honor at a gathering over at Simon’s house, and as He sits and eats, a woman decides to crash the party.
And what I find interesting is that she didn’t bring a potluck dish. Instead, Mary enters the room with a “beautiful alabaster jar filled with perfume." I don't know if it had anything to do with Valentine's Day, but I do know that it wasn't cheap. She brought a precious gift to Jesus. A gift that cost her something great.
And yes, washing the feet and anointing the head was customary, but Mary goes above and beyond. She became consumed. John says that she anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. Mary goes on to break the container, and pour all of its contents on Jesus’ head.
And even though the contents of the jar was very precious, as long as it stayed in the container, it didn’t benefit anyone. John says that when the perfume was poured out upon Jesus its fragrance filled the entire house. Jesus, in response, called the act a good work. Jesus said it was “a beautiful thing.”
In a culture that chooses all kinds of ways to define love, let us never forget that God is love. (See 1 John 4:8.)
It doesn't matter how superfluous Macy's, or Jared's, paints love, the reality is that God is the essence of love and even when He expresses Himself in other ways, He never stops being loving. GOD is a loving provider, a loving forgiver, a loving sustainer. God never stops loving. Talk about being consumed!
Everything God does, even when it doesn't look like it or feel like it, everything is infused with divine love simply because God is love. Love is who He is. Love is what He does. His love is what consumes us and His love is what is so lavishly poured out on us every single day. Our response to love is only made possible because of God's limitless love for us. (See 1 John 4:19.) We love others because God loved us.
Is your love displayed in such a way that the people around you are consumed by it? Does your love saturate the very air around you? Does God consider your method of loving "beautiful"?
I want to be a lover, and not a fighter :) My hope is that everyone around me can feel the love of Jesus through me.
Valentine's Day aka February 14th has come and gone, but its remnants are everywhere. Half-priced candies, fading bouquets, and pastries and sweets (that are beginning to stale) still flood the shelves of supermarkets worldwide. Hopefully your display of love isn't limited by any of those fading things.
What matters most is not what "gifts" you receive on 1 day, but the gifts you choose to give 365 days of the year.
Go consume someone with godly love.