I don’t celebrate Valentine’s day.
I often hate how it makes me feel, single or in a relationship, and I find the teddy bears, roses and hearts a bit forced. One year, I even saw a single rose on sale for £20!
However, a few days before Valentine’s day this year (which was also so close to PANCAKE DAY I might add), I opened my bible to 2 Corinthians and came across these verses:
“We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange – I speak as to my children – open wide your hearts also.” (2 Corinthians 6 v 11-13)
It’s a call from Paul to the deeply divided Corinthian church to open their hearts. Paul and his companions had faced opposition from this church; instead they chose to continue to love them and call them as a community to do the same.
Similarly, these verses are a call to us. A call to open our hearts, even when someone says no, opposes your faith, or even close friends calling you ‘boring’ for not getting involved with uni culture in the way they do. A call to keep our hearts open with love for those around us, as well as our church community; Loving others sets us free from the fear of what others think.
So how can we show this kind of love?
Jesus is the ultimate model of this. He loved without end, and showed the grace of God to all of those he met: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13 v 34). That’s why we invite students across the country into the #loveyouruni campaign. It’s a chance to show real, genuine love to the students at your uni, and demonstrate the kind of person Jesus was. That doesn’t necessarily mean we will be loved back, but it creates the opportunity for change.
Being a student is an opportunity like no other to think creatively about how to love and serve your fellow coursemates, housemates and anyone you come into contact with.
Ultimately, we should be blown away by the love of a Father who reveals the best model of love there is!
Maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t so bad after all….