Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Many don’t realize that God is a Lover who woos us pointedly and poignantly. In fact, it is said to be God’s love that actually provides the template for and inspires our love when it’s really well-done:

            “We love because He first loved us…”  (I John 4:19)

Some real gems of love poetry are found in the Bible—God could almost be confused with a winsome, courtly romantic. Consider the following;

The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior,
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in his love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.

(Zephaniah 3:17)

Honed contemplatives invite us to linger on the words, reading slowly, soaking them in. The words really are meant very personally for each of us as well as for the Israelites  as a community to whom they were originally addressed.  Substitute your own name for the pronouns such as "you."  "He will be quiet in his love.  He will rejoice over (your name)  with shouts of joy."   Ponder the words.  They are not just pretty words.  They are true words, heartfelt words spoken from God through the prophets to you and to me.    

At your leisure, consider the following  3 passages in the same way... (or you may just want to stay with the first passage--reading love poems is not about how much you get read; it's about how deeply a few words sink in.)

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, 
that we should be called children of God; 
and such we are.” (I John 3:1)

Now this from the prophet Jeremiah who lived centuries ago and whose words still give hope:

The Lord appeared from afar…saying,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness. 
Again I will build you and you shall be rebuilt…
Again you shall take up your tambourines,
And go forth to the dances of merrymakers.    (Jeremiah 31:3)  

Finally, this from the Psalms:

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is his lovingkindness 
      toward those who revere Him.  (Psalm 103: 13)                                                    

       May you have a blessed and Happy Valentine's Day

 Photo by  Daniel Peckham