14th February 2016
Today is Valentine’s Day, as if anyone needs reminding with emails and advertising offering and suggesting the perfect way to show your affection to the one you love, or to the person you fancy.
For some people today will be a day of nervous excitement – as they tentatively communicate feelings with a card.
For others again this is a day which brings forth sadness – either remembering a departed loved one, or feeling unloved.
For others this day will take on great significance as the day when romantic love began to be communicated.
We human beings spend a lot of time thinking about lot.
Think of all of the films that you’ve ever watched. I’m sure that most of them have had a love story in them. Think of the books that are written, the time we spend arranging romantic dates, not to mention the money. And one of the songs that most sticks in my mind is that song by the Beatles ‘Love is all you need’. and that’s my title for this brief reflection.
Across the centuries human beings have talked about love, and written about love. In the Ancient World the Greeks wrote about it, the Romans wrote about it, the Jews wrote about it, not to mention all of the other Ancient nations. I think that it must be such a popular subject because it is such a wonderful thing.
Several different words are used for love in the New Testament, which was written in Greek. Now the Greeks were very sophisticated when it came to talking about love – and they had different words for different kinds of love four kinds of love: philia, the love between friends; storge, or family love; and eros, sexual love.
But Jesus Christ spoke about another kind of love, the kind of love that is unmerited, that is not earned. The kind of love that will give up everything for someone else, the kind of love that Jesus himself showed by dying for other people. And in the Bible the Greek word normally used for this sort of love is agape.
I remember our youth group leader putting it like this – he played the guitar and he said that his love for his guitar was love because of what his guitar could do for him – as he put it ‘love with strings attached’. But the kind of love that Jesus was talking about was unlike his love for his guitar, because it was love ‘with no strings attached’.