February is now upon us. Many people look at the month of February as a month with not much to do and absent of Christian holidays on the calendar. But that is not true. February has several holidays that appear to be secular, but have Christian origins.
February is a month where looking outside we see some blue skies, but most is gray. No flowers blooming, no leaves on the trees, and we look to a groundhog to tell us how much longer this will last. February 2 is Groundhog Day. However, Groundhog Day was originally Candlemas Day. Candlemas is observed on February 2nd and marks the return of light, a symbol of protection and prosperity. This Christian festival commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple of Jerusalem, referring to him as the light of the people of Israel.
Then of course on February 12th, though not a Christian holiday, we have a national holiday. Super Bowl Sunday. Millions will tune in AFTER CHURCH, to see who the new NFL champions will be.
On February 14th we observe St. Valentine’s Day. A day when we give and receive flowers and candy and often go out for a special dinner. We think of that mischievous little cherub shooting arrows into the hearts of the unsuspecting making them fall deeply in love. It is often a very fun day. But we should look at the day as a special day. The real St. Valentine was a Christian martyr. He was imprisoned due to his beliefs and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. While in prison, he continued to preach the Word and was executed. With all he endured, he continued on his mission to the very end.
Wednesday, February 22nd is the first day of the Season of Lent and February 26th is the first Sunday of the Lenten Season. It begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until Thursday, April 6th , 40 days excluding Sundays. This is a special time in the life of the Christian Church. It is a time of waiting. It should be a time of reflection and prayer. We as a church will journey together to the cross and then to Easter Sunday when we will celebrate in word, prayer, and song of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
February is not always a month of cold air and gray landscape. It is a month that we can continue to live our lives in a way that worships and pleases the Lord our God.
Rev. John Carey