Christian Comment with the Rev Dr Brian Ludlow, associate priest for Rodborough and for the Stanleys with Selsley


LOVE is in the air, and for me at least the wedding ‘season’ has already started.
And now, once more we reach Valentine’s Day.
Gentlemen, in a spirit of eco-friendly paper-saving, have you thought about taking your loved one to a supermarket or card shop, standing together in the Valentine cards section, and reading the Valentine cards to her?
Could you get away with that?
As for me, I asked my wife what she wanted for Valentine’s Day and she said 'nothing”.
I suppose I’ll find out tomorrow, Thursday, if she was telling the truth.
What is the one thing in life a person wants more than anything else?
Fame, wealth, beauty, status, power, position?
I suppose a lot of people think that any one of, or a combination of, these would make them feel good, none of these will truly make us feel whole.
Riches - empty.
Fame - fleeting.
In the eye of the beholder thankfully so the effects of time and gravity are ignored.
Power, position and status are all relative.
We are so desperate for love that we will spend our days searching for it.
And if we don’t find it, we’ll go through life feeling unfulfilled and empty.
Until we know we are loved.
Not just cared about or liked but to be loved without having to pretend to be someone we’re not, without expectation, without exception.
Many people find it hard to believe that it’s possible to be loved like that.
Consequently, it is difficult to believe that we could ever be loved, in the truest sense of the word, by another person or even by God. 
I believe we can have confidence and know that God loves each of us.
Unlike the love between two people, which may wax and wane, God’s love for us never changes, never varies, never lessens.
When we question God’s love for us maybe we’re really admitting our own fear of being unlovable.
In a climate where political correctness and tolerance have become the highest value, personal responsibility and accountability often go out the window.
Knowing that God loves us unconditionally does not give us permission to abuse or take advantage of his love and use it as a means to our own ends.
If that’s our mind set, it demonstrates that we are still selfishly motivated.
Giving love can be hard – really hard.
We need to be unselfish to give unconditional love and that needs working at.
We cannot love and be selfish at the same time.
Try this on Valentine’s Day.
Sacrifice what you want for what your loved one wants.