Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lenten Devotional

Let Me Be Your Valentine
2 Timothy 1:3-7

Ron Buford

It may seem strange for a church publication to speak of Valentine's Day in the midst of Lent, but then again, why not? Is not all love God's gift to be celebrated?

Paul probably knew that this would be his last letter to Timothy, writing as he was awaiting execution for preaching about Jesus. Paul tenderly calls Timothy to continue the work--despite the risks.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Dr. Benjamin Mays, then president of Morehouse College, tried to dissuade the younger King from going back to the Montgomery boycott because of violent threats. King the younger heard but lovingly rejected their requests, setting his face toward Montgomery--despite the risks.

King would not come face to face with death this time, but he would come face to face with hatred, resistance. Armed with the demonstrable love of his dad and Dr. Mays, he had unbending resolve. Dr. Mays, himself a son of freed slaves, would later have to make good on a mutual promise he and Martin Luther King, Jr. made to each other--the promise of the longest survivor to deliver the other's eulogy.

Jesus said, "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friend." Now that's love! Happy Valentine's Day!

Prayer: Gracious God, let no one and nothing turn me away from you, from your clear purpose for my life. May I never, ever give up - despite risk, persecution, setback, and past failure. Amen.

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