Ahhhh, February! It is the shortest month of the year, and maybe the dreariest. Cold and gloom prevail, and maybe that is the reason someone decided a long time ago to liven up this otherwise gloomy month with visions of love. Of course, I’m talking about Valentine’s Day.
Yes, February is the time when we express our deepest affections and shower those dear to us with expressions of love. We pick one day, February 14th, and we shower those we truly love with such things as an intimate dinner, beautiful flowers, perhaps even a box of delicious candy. We have come to believe that these are all examples of how we display our love to one anther.
As I have studied the New Testament, one of the things I have appreciated in its writings was the skillful use of language. The original New Testament was written mostly in Greek, and the Greek language has some wonderful nuances that we should pay attention to. Let us take for example, the word “love”. The Greeks had at least three different words they used to denote love; Philia, Eros, and Agape. Let’s take a moment to examine the differences.
A man might say, “I love my dog…I love my truck…I love pizza…I love my wife.” Obviously the word love in these examples carries vastly different meanings…right? In Greek, the word Philia might be translated as like or fond of. I like (philia) my dog or I like (philia) pizza. The word Eros denotes romantic love or sensual desire, as in I love (eros) my wife. Finally, the word Agape denotes unconditional love, as in Christ loves (agape) you and me.
For many of us, Agape, or unconditional love is the most difficult type of love to understand. In most situations, we love others because of the love they return to us…in other words, we give with the expectation of something in return. However, true love, or agape love, is unconditional; that means love is given with absolutely no expectation of anything in return.
It is not enough to be fond of, or even to merely accept others. We are not called to “tolerate” others. Instead, we are called to love as Christ loves. Jesus tells us, “My command is this, love (agape) one another as I have loved (agape) you.” John 15:12. As you enjoy Valentine’s Day 2010, pause to remember God’s true valentine was Christ, and His ultimate gift of love (agape) to each of us was a death on a cross so that we might have eternal life. It was Christ’s agape love that held him to the cross. Now that’s love!
In His Service,
Pastor Gary Ginter
Sunday 02/02 Church Breakfast served from 9-9:30 am
Sunday 02/02 Communion served during morning worship
Wednesday 02/05 Adult Bible Study at 10:00 am
Wednesday 02/05 Free Supper at 6:00 pm
Wednesday 02/05 Youth Programs at 6:30 pm
Wednesday 02/05 Adult Bible Study at 6:30 pm
Friday 02/07 Bread and Bowl at 6:00 pm
Wednesday 02/12 Free Supper at 6:00 pm
Wednesday 02/12 Adult Bible Study at 10:00 am
Wednesday 02/12 Youth Programs at 6:30 pm
Wednesday 02/12 Adult Bible Study at 6:30 pm
Thursday 02/13 Mission Committee at 7:00 pm
Friday 02/14 Valentine’s Day
Sunday 02/16 Puppets during morning worship
Monday 02/17 President’s Day
Wednesday 02/19 Adult Bible Study at 10:00 am
Wednesday 02/19 Free Supper at 6:00 pm
Wednesday 02/19 Youth Programs at 6:30 pm
Wednesday 02/19 Adult Bible Study at 6:30 pm
Saturday 02/22-03/01 UMCOR Mission Trip to Florida
Wednesday 02/26 Ash Wednesday
Wednesday 02/26 Adult Bible Study at 10:00 am
Wednesday 02/26 Free Supper at 6:00 pm
Wednesday 02/26 Youth Programs at 6:30 pm
Wednesday 02/26 Adult Bible Study at 6:30 pm