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I love you

Stephen Helwig

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

What will it be for you this Valentine’s Day? Candy? Fancy chocolates in a pretty box or tiny hearts with words printed on them? Flowers? A dozen long-stemmed roses or a beautiful bouquet in a glass vase? Dinner? Reservations at a fancy restaurant or a quiet candlelit dinner for two at home?

What will it be? What will that special someone give you? What will that special someone do for you? What will you give that special someone? What will you do for that special someone?

Expressions of love. They can be warm. They can be wonderful. But they can also be so easily replaced. The candy is eaten. The box is thrown away. Flowers wither. Vases get crammed into an already crowded cupboard. The table at the restaurant is cleared and quickly reset for the next reservation. The dishes will go into the dishwasher, and the leftovers, forgotten in the back of the refrigerator, will spoil.

Worse than that? Name-calling—hurtful name-calling—will start back up again. Words of accusation, words that tear down, words that sting will begin to dominate daily conversation again. There will be disappointment, frustration, resentment, and anger. And all this is directed at people whom we supposedly love the most. Sad. Where’s the love?

Check out these articles from the February issue:

Confessions of faith: Colleen Thorson

Colleen Thorson and roommate Megan
Colleen's college experience didn’t start the way she expected. The basics all went off without a hitch. Before her first campus visit was even over, she made a new friend, and the pair agreed to be roommates. She purchased all the textbooks she needed to . . .

My church family

church made up of people
I love my church family. That’s what I call the people who belong to my congregation. Do you see the difference between calling church members “the congregation” and calling them “family”? When we think of the congregation, we picture an organization with a constitution and prescribed activities. When we talk about our church family, we focus on the varied . . .

Please explain: What does it mean that Christians are priests before God?

two men talking
The sign-up sheets for the neighborhood canvass were empty. The pastor went out of his way to recruit more door-knockers. “Pastor, I’d love to help, but I’m just not ready for that.” So many church members were hospitalized in the past week, the pastor didn’t know . . .

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