Flowers and Candy for Jesus?

May 14, 2023 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Matt Philips 
I felt very blessed by God on February 14th this year to have absolutely nobody to call my valentine.  While this may sound harsh and insensitive, I assure you that there’s reason to my madness.  I would enjoy having a significant other (massive understatement), but the fact that I didn’t have to pony up the dough to buy flowers and candy for someone could be construed as a positive…or at least I tell myself that to avoid feeling like a loser.  I did send a Valentine’s Day card to my mother, but I suppose that doesn’t really count. 

However, in the midst of this negativity, I did learn something about the Almighty.  It had never occurred to me that Valentine’s is one of the few holidays that are not closely tied to God.  I had to ask myself why it wasn’t.  I decided to break it down like this.  Valentine’s Day is completely focused on Love.  (Hmm) Does that sound like something that could be related to God?  Maybe it does so, let’s break it down further.  Valentine’s Day is the day where we celebrate the ones we love by offering them gifts.  The gift is normally sacrificial in nature.  Usually, we sacrifice money, time, or effort to supply those we love with this gift.  Could that have anything to do with God?
I think it does and since it does, then we need to find a way to celebrate the holiday in light of this news.  The typical gift for Valentine’s Day is of course flowers and candy.  However, since the local florist doesn’t exactly have the address for Heaven, it might be a bit difficult to send Jesus an FTD bouquet and some Russell Stover chocolates.  This puts us in a conundrum.  As Christians, we love Jesus for who He is and for the sacrifices He has made.  So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day we need to do something for Him, but what?  This question perplexed me for a while until I remembered something my mother used to do when I was kid.  When I was young, every time I would ask my mother what she wanted for her birthday, Christmas, or even Valentine’s Day, she would reply with one of a few generic answers.  She would tell me that she wanted me to be a “good boy” or she would ask me to do a better job of keeping my room clean.  BORING!!!!!  I wanted something that would be fun to give or something cool that would make me the favorite son.  Apparently what she wanted was much more simple and yet so much harder to give.
Jesus is like that.  He doesn’t want flowers and candy, or even some spectacular gift that will somehow identify you as His favorite.  Those are selfish gifts normally intended to gratify the giver more than the receiver.  Their goal is usually to earn someone’s favor rather than to actually show them that you care.  That’s why we give flowers and candy rather than cleaning our room or improving ourselves.  This is why we don’t want Jesus so closely associated with Valentine’s Day.  We would have to do something we don’t want to do.  And what is it exactly that Jesus would like?  I think a quick glance at the 21st chapter of John will give us a clue.  Let me set the stage. 

Jesus has been resurrected from the dead and is awaiting his ascension.  He appears to Peter on the beach while Peter is fishing.  Peter immediately swims ashore when he realizes its Christ who’s sitting on the beach.  What follows later is a dialogue that is very familiar to most of us.  Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him.  Peter replies each time by reassuring Jesus that he loves Him.  Peter is a talker.  This is what he does.  Its natural to him but its not all that Jesus wants Peter to do in order to prove his love.  Jesus wants something that’s harder to give.  He asks Peter to feed His sheep each time Peter pledges his love for the Savior.  The nature of this request is so typical of our Lord.  He doesn’t want flowers, candy, or some gift that glorifies the giver.  He wants us to pledge our love to Him by the way we act towards his people.  The last thing he wants is a talker.  He needs some doers.  You want to give Him a Valentine’s Day present?  Here are some ideas to consider.  Speak to the person nobody speaks to when you go to work tomorrow.  Take some food to that elderly lady that lives down the street that nobody seems to have time to visit.  Sponsor one of those children who will die of starvation if you don’t come through for them. So, will it be the proverbial flowers and candy again, for Jesus?  Do something special and give Him something better this year! 

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