Perspectives by Rev. Arlyce Schiebout

Feast of Friendship and Love

What a delight to write a column for Valentine’s Day.  What do I know about the day?  

Well, perhaps like many of you there was the yearly ritual in grade school of making a mailbox out of a shoebox and putting it on the side of your desk.  Then buying or making valentine cards for each person in class, trying to find the right person for the right card, a matching process of sorts.  Treats like cupcakes, heart candies and strawberry punch were shared, and it was reason for a mid-winter party.

Adults like to give and receive Valentine’s Day cards and gifts, too.  I know two people who have sent back and forth the same valentine card over their 30 years of marriage.  They just joke that they are too frugal to buy a new card.  

In fact, the card’s greeting is so meaningful to each person that neither has found another card that offers better sentiments.

Card companies sell more cards for Valentine’s Day than for Christmas.  Internet blogs and social networks go crazy on this day as do the florists.  It is said that men purchase valentines more than any other kind of card.

God sends us a masterpiece of art and love everyday.  We awake and there is hope and possibility for the day.  God’s love for creation and humanity is not defined by colouring in the lines of a card.  

Rather God’s love particularly colours outside the lines so that each of us is unique and loved before, beyond and forever.  We are one-of-a-kind works of God’s love.  

And when we claim God’s goodness and love in our lives, we can share that love and wholeness with others. It is the love that extends from self to other; it is self-giving love that generates integrity and love knowing that the other is also created in God’s image, unique and loved.  It is the living out of the Great Commandment, “to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and one’s neighbour as one’s self.”

Valentine’s Day is that day when we practice self-forgetfulness, which is at the heart of making love–being totally engaged in what you are doing for another person.  

Those who make love daily by self-forgetfulness find ecstasy in celebrating the love they have been making day by day.  Go for it!  May the peace and blessings of the One who is Wholly Love guide and keep you.  

Rev. Arlyce Schiebout

Lakeshore United Church



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