THIS week, we have celebrated the gift of love. Some of us will have made St Valentine proud and St Interflora very happy.
Whether or not an envelope hit our mat on Tuesday morning, most of us will appreciate being loved by someone and hopefully for more than one day in the year.
There is more than one traditional story that we remember on February 14.
Some say St Valentine was a Roman priest who secretly married couples against the wishes of the Emperor Claudius (who thought that if he stopped men getting married they would more easily join the army), others that he was a priest martyred for his Christian faith.
Whoever he was and whatever he did, we associate him with love and he has engendered a large and prosperous industry involving cards, chocolates and flowers.
The word love can be used in a variety of ways. I “love” a good steak but I also “love” my husband and children. The quality, depth and nature of the love is quite different in each case.
There is another kind of love. This is how the Bible expresses God’s love: “God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only begotten Son,” John 3:16.
His love is unconditional and involved sacrifice and cost. It was about being prepared to give the most precious thing he had – his own son – to show how much he loved us. And he did it knowing that we just might not return his love ...