Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day.
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February 14th is Ash Wednesday. It’s also - strangely enough - Valentine's Day.

I find this to be a little weird, a bit funny, and obviously providential.

Ash Wednesday is a day in the life of the church, throughout our history and around the world, where we mark the beginning of Lent by confessing our sins to God and remembering our mortality. I have referred to Lent before as the “long valley to Easter.” Ash Wednesday is the doorway to this long valley.

It is a day specifically set aside to grieve, lament, confess our sins, and remember death.

Ash Wednesday is there to remind us of something that we’d rather forget: Death is a consequence of sin and we still live in a world marked by its presence.

Then there’s Valentine’s day. While the roots of Valentine’s day, like all good things, are gnarled around a forgotten Christian story and saint…the day itself has now become something a bit outlandish and childish. I love candy as much as the next person, but I don’t think anyone can argue that Valentine’s day hasn’t become a bit of a ploy from “Big Candy” to move more product between Christmas and Halloween.

But when you know the origin story of Valentine’s day - you begin to think that it’s entirely appropriate for them to share the same day this year.

On February 14th, 269 (yes the year 269AD) - almost 2,000 years ago - an Italian Bishop was killed for his Christian faith after a sham trial under the Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus. This bishop was a martyr - a Christian whose witness to the faith resulted in his death. 

And his name was Saint Valentine.

There was a love that compelled this Saint to accept death for His Lord. But it wasn’t the love of candy hearts, pink balloons, and dinner reservations - it was the love of Christ.

In this way, it seems entirely appropriate for us to gather to remember our death on Ash Wednesday/St.Valentine’s Day.

To look into the face of the world’s cheapening of love and to proclaim that there is a love unto death – and there is a Love who transcends death. One day He whom we love will destroy the great enemy of death. For good. Forever.

Until then, we remember our death, we confess our sins, we remember that we belong to God and not to ourselves.

This year is an invitation from God to remember that we are strangers in this world. In a world longing for true love and settling for figments, that God is inviting us into a deeper communion with Him.

Join us as we pray, remember, confess, and worship on Wednesday, February 14th at 7:15AM or 7:15PM at Loft City Church with our brothers and sisters there. 

Services will be held at Loft City Church (linked above).

In Christ,

Kyle Worley