In these early days of February, the martyr Saint Valentine inspires people to celebrate love. For many this can be a happy time. For others, it reminds them of what they are missing, have not found or have lost.
Saint John reminds us of the origins of love in our world:
In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son.
1 John 4:10
When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, he gave a twofold answer:
The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.
In this he showed us our work in the world, to love God and to love our neighbour.
So we pray:
God of wonder and of joy:
grace comes from you,
and you alone are the source of life and love.
Without you, we cannot please you;
without your love, our deeds are worth nothing.
Send your Holy Spirit,
and pour into our hearts
that most excellent gift of love,
that we may worship you now
with thankful hearts
and serve you always with willing minds;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Team Priest, Forest and Avon Team
This prayer is from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000), which is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000.