It’s February! Where has the time going? We have just gotten all the Christmas decorations put away and already, January is over.

The month of February was “named after the Latin wordfebruum, which means purification. In Old English, the name for February used to be Sprout-Kale, but was later changed to Solmonath which means sun month.  The Solmonath, or sun month, was chosen “because it is the time when the sun rises higher in the sky and begins to drive away the chill of winter with its glowing rays.

The meanings behind these names for the month of February could not be more appropriate. This year, on February 14, we will be celebrating Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. This is a day that emphasizes two themes: repentance and purification. As we receive the ashes, we are acknowledging that our sins have separated us from God and that we are repenting of those sins. In addition, we recognize the saving grace that has been offered through Christ’s death on the cross and the purification that has been provided to us through that act. This serves as a reminder that Christ has risen, and the light of Christ drives away the darkness that can make us cold.

Did I mention Ash Wednesday is February 14th? Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday coincide to help us celebrate the greatest love story ever told! Were it not for the love of God and the gift of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross, we would all be lost. We would have no reason to hope or feel joy.  So this year, instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day with gifts of flowers, chocolates, candy, or red hearts, we are going to celebrate the truest form of love with ashes.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3: 16-17).

Throughout the purification month of February, embrace the act of repentance and the gift of forgiveness and cleansing that comes from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, be certain to share the gift of His love with everyone!

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Kim