Love

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From the Manse...

Just a day or so after the celebrations of Christmas, the first sightings of Cadbury's cream eggs were noticed in petrol stations and supermarkets. Of course we have long come to expect this and are very much aware of the rhythm of the shopping year.

Not long after the first sightings of said eggs the shelves of so many of our stores are filled with cards, chocolates, cuddly toys, red roses and all the paraphernalia seen as being necessary to help celebrate Valentine's Day.

Everywhere we look we see the shape of a red heart. We are told that this is an ideograph used to express the idea that the heart is the core of emotion, affection, and romantic love.

As we ponder on what love actually is all about, we are reminded that Ancient Greek had six distinct words for love, far more encompassing than our little four-letter word: philía, éros, agápe, storg", pragma, and philautia.

Philia — affectionate regard and friendship usually between equals

Éros — intimate love and sexual passion

Agápe — charity; the love of God for his children and their love for God.

Storg" — tenderness, love, affection especially of parents and children

Pragma — a model of love demonstrated during a lengthy marriage.

Philautia — love for one's own self.

In 1 John chapter 4:7-9, we read Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.

As we celebrate love this month, I can't help but wonder whether a wooden cross might be a more suitable and appropriate ideograph than a red heart?

With love and God Bless
Keith

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