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the Minister............

February is a month when advertisers and shops encourage us to show our love for someone. Many purchase cards and flowers, some even book a romantic meal for the 14th. This year I will be going out for a meal as I have often done on 14th - it used to be with colleagues at work if I was away from home, this year I will be attending a Burns Supper at Coaltown School at lunchtime. I am one of these people who do not know the meaning of romantic. I love myself more than anyone else and I try to tell Trish I love her every day, it's cheaper than flowers etc.

The history behind St Valentine is confusing and many consider it is a combination of at least two saints. St Valentine was martyred on 14th February.

Of course, love is something Jesus preached on many occasions. The love for one's fellow human. Jesus gave us the new commandment - John 13:34 - "l give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another" (NRSV). It's simple.

Paul on the other hand was a little more practical in understanding how complicated love is, just read 1 Corinthians 13. (It actually has a verse I love in the Bible - verse 11. I'll let you read it, but if I say one day I may put an end to childish ways probably not).

Complicated as love may be, it is exactly what Jesus asks us to do, not just on 14th February but each and every day, to all we encounter in our lives - even the person we may have argued with earlier in the day. To actively find ways we can show in actions our love, but also actively find ways to take care what we say and do so that we do not hurt-another, that is love as well.

So, as we move into February, let us hold this thought in our minds and hearts. Think on those we do love, and then think on those who we struggle to love, and then pray to God for the strength to try to find a way to share our love for all with no bias.

God Bless,
Alan


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