Happy Valentines/Oregon’s bday day! Good morning!
Today’s scripture: Acts 7:30-34
“Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight; and as he approached to look, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have surely seen the mistreatment of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. Come now, I will send you to Egypt.’
So here it is, right after the first day of Lent, we are confronted with Valentines day! Hopefully you did not give up chocolate or sugar or any other tempting tasty things because this would just not be fair! Valentines day has never been one of my favorite holidays. There is so much invested in this holiday…both with time and money. Somehow this holiday has taken over the commercial aisles with cards, candies, stuffed animals, etc etc. There is always the little nagging that we have to find the perfect gift…or so I thought before….
I went to Safeway yesterday to pick up a few things. I am trying to prepare to be gone for a week and still there are things on the list to grab. I was in the baking aisle because I wanted to make a dessert for our new Bread and Wine service on Wednesday nights and I was out of a few things. I was looking at the whole section of just cake mixes alone. It stopped me in my tracks. It was not what I needed but the amount of options was overwhelming. I was flabbergasted for a minute. This guy came up next to me and started muttering out loud so I turned and offered my help to look. He was looking for a specific bread mix that he had heard was on sale. While we searched he started telling me what I can bad dad jokes (sorry dad). I chuckled with him. Then he started to tell me about life and how usually when he is nice to people they just look at him…and then he said, “how hard is it to show a little kindness to someone else in the store? Life is hard enough..we should be kind to one another. This is why I like Valentines Day, we are finally spending a day to care for one another and be kind.” He then added one more joke about his age and he was on his way with bread mix in hand.
What is so bad about being kind to one another in the store? Isn’t that what we are called to do? And what is so bad about a holiday where that is the intention…to show love? Take the consumption out of it and perhaps I can hop on board.
In our Acts passage, Stephen is telling the history of the church. He tells the story of where we came from and today he talks about Moses encounter with the burning bush. Interesting that this falls on Valentines day but also that its the first lectionary day of Lent. In the beginning of our journey we get to spend a little time looking to history. Remembering where we come from is part of the love equation. Pausing to see where we are and who we come from, where our call began, is part of acknowledging love in our midst…where God has shown us love before. Remember previous leaders helps us to see the future, to offer kindness when we can, to hear God’s call from the burning bush even with the dude in the supermarket. Life is funny that way….
So today in whatever way you celebrate February 14th (for some a birthday for a state, for some it’s singleness awareness, for some its vagina monologues day and awareness for women’s issues and for some it happens to involve Valentines) please show a little extra kindness, a little extra love for neighbor. Love on your people, family born into and chosen, friends near and far…perhaps even give a call to say hey.
Much love from me!