by Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
Recently my wife and I paused to share a meal together in a restaurant. It was a simple place with simple food.
As I looked over at the surroundings and decorations of the restaurant, I remember thinking to myself why haven’t they taken the Christmas lights down?
All around the restaurant were strings of bright red Christmas lights. I know that some people leave up there Christmas decorations for a long time and may even leave the Christmas tree up for a long time and decorate it for each new holiday. However, usually places of business are very prompt in redecorating for each new holiday and this was already February.
Then it struck me! The decorations were for Valentine’s Day!
As I look at the other decorations that were all around the restaurant, I saw red and pink hearts. It was clearly not for Christmas but for Valentine’s Day.
My wife got a good laugh over her non-romantic husband not paying attention to the season and thinking that they were behind the times. No doubt she is wondering if I will remember Valentines on the actual day as well!
So why red? Why is Valentine’s Day associated with the color red?
There is actually a long tradition of red being associated with love. Brides in Roman times long before there was a Valentine’s Day would wear red veils at their weddings. It was and continues to be a sought-after color when portraying love and romance.
Yet there is certainly another red that shows the depth of love that God has for you.
You see Jesus shed His blood because of the depth of love that He had and continues to have for you and I.
Hebrews 9:22 states:
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission.
Jesus spilled His red blood in the greatest expression of love ever provided for the human race.
He didn’t forget what season it is. It was and is the season of God’s love for the human race. He continues to point to that red blood to tell us that He loves us, has provided salvation for us, and continues to walk with us through this troubled world.
So how do we respond in our own lives?
I Peter 1:22,23 tells us how to respond by saying:
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.
In this Valentine season, please reflect on the red blood that an amazing Savior shed for you, accept it once again for you and then go into your home and community to love well those that Jesus puts in your path.