Valentines day in the midst of Covid

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From the Manse......

What to make of Valentine's Day in the light of living through a global pandemic, I wonder?

Well, magazines, newspapers and social media are full of suggestions as to how to adapt February 14th to make it more Covid-19 safe this year.

Eye catching headlines abound in an attempt to make the most of our current situation;
"How to celebrate Valentine's Day 2021 in lockdown"
"Valentine's Day 2021: Date ideas during COVID-19"
"17 Quarantine Valentine's Day Ideas — Virtual Valentine's Day"

Like every other aspect of life since we first became aware of Cov-19, adaptation and innovation have come to the fore.

However, I'd like to think that perhaps in this of all years things might be a bit different. That society might be aware of a much wider understanding of love, one that reaches out to all.

That we would celebrate love not simply in a narrow insular and inward looking way, something secretly shared between two people, but rather love that is outward facing and all encompassing, that seeks to embrace all and in doing so reminds us that everyone is valued and special and important.

We recall how in the early days of the first lockdown there was a shift of perception towards those who had in the past been overlooked. Undervalued, hard working and low paid employees were at last being appreciated and valued in their roles as key workers and that those who had often been 'invisible' and taken for granted before, were now rightfully being thanked.

Christian Aid in a recent article talked about love equalling physical distancing + Social solidarity.

The word 'love' in the time of Covid-19 has become "the love of life: our own life, the life of others, the life and the well-being of everyone we know and those we do not know", Archbishop Michael Jackson.

This year, Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday, which is most apt — for as we all know it is love that is at the very heart of our faith and the message that we seek to share.

As St. Paul reminds us;
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

With love and God Bless

Keith

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