From Pastor Eric
February 14 is quite a day this year. This is one of the years that Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day. A day that culturally focuses on romantic love coincides with the reminder in the church of our mortality. What a contrasting day! Yet there is one other commemoration in the church that day that I think is also worth keeping in mind. February 14 is the commemoration of Cyril and Methodius. These brothers lived in the ninth century, coming from Thessalonika, Greece. They were monks who set out to bring Christianity to the Slavic people. They dedicated themselves to the work, even inventing an alphabet and written language in order to translate the Bible and the liturgy. (It is called the Cyrillic alphabet after Cyril.)
Having all three things on one day gives us a pretty wide snapshot of life in God. To live in relation to God is to live a life overflowing with love (often including romantic but not always, and always exceeding simply romantic love). That love moves us to life-giving service that calls us in unexpected directions, much like those missionary brothers. At the same time, we must recognize our limitations and the fact that we will die. Thus we place our trust in God for all that we cannot do and for life that flows beyond the limits of our fleshly life.
Love, serve, pray, receive ashes. That sums up much of God’s calling to us. It sums up the February movement from the discipleship theme of Epiphany to the spiritual grounding of Lent. It sums up God’s calling to us in these days. May February 14, and all of the other days this month, move you in this full range of experiencing God in your life.