“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
– Colossians 3:12-14
February is a month where love is in the air. Every February 14, across the United States and other parts of the world, candy, flowers, and cards are exchanged as an expression of love. But love is more than candy, flowers, and cards. Love is more than one day a year of doing something nice for your spouse or loved ones. Love is a choice we make each and every day in how we will act toward others and treat others.
One legend about the history of Valentine’s Day suggests that St. Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were beaten and tortured. Valentine made a choice to love the Christians, and paid a price for his choice with his life.
Later this month, I will officiate a wedding for one of my former youth. At the wedding, I will read the scripture passage from Colossians 3:12-14. It has become one of my favorite passages to read at weddings. Paul challenges the early church to “bear with each other,” “forgive one another,” and “put on love.” He explains that love is what binds the rest together in perfect unity. And while I love sharing this scripture at weddings, Paul was not writing to young couples as they made vows to one another; Paul wrote these words to the first century church.
I have thought about these words a lot recently, and reflected on these words in my quiet time. Love is a choice we make. God is love (1 John 4:8) and has shown love to us (1 John 4:10). But also commands us to love one another. It is the greater than all the gifts, and it is love that binds together all other virtues in perfect unity. This month, let’s celebrate the love God has for us and let’s “put on love” as we choose to love God and love others.
With the Love of the Lord,