Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day.

How do we celebrate Valentines Day if you are sick or the ones we love? What are things we can do during Valentines Day?

Valentines Day is a big day for us Filipinos to show our love to people dear to our hearts. It becomes more special if the people dear to our hearts are sick. This is the best day to show them that we love them "in sickness and in health."

Our celebration might not be traditional dinner date in a fancy restaurant or a stroll in the park or watching the latest romantic movie available. No, our celebration includes going together early in the morning to the hospital to visit the doctor in the clinic. It is holding hands while waiting for the doctors for hours in the hospital lobby. It is comforting your loved one as they get pricked in their soft sensitive kin for lab tests and vaccines. And then dining together and sharing dietary food with low salt and low fat that nobody appreciates.

At the end of the day, our celebration of the Day of Love ends with walking side by side as we head home. As we assist the dear people in our hearts in their walk, we offer ourselves as the physical strength they badly need. Then we go to the bedroom to rest. As we rest, we are praying together that God's love will be the true strength that will keep our weakened spirits and sustain our tired hearts. That God's promise of love will not be limited in the happy moments in our lives but even in this hours. For it is during Valentines Day, that we can show to those dear in our hearts, however sick they are, that we do love them.

Happy Valentines Day. 

Dirt in your Forehead

"There's dirt in your forehead."

I usually give this joke to my friends after they attend the Ash Wednesday Service. They would tell me with all seriousness that it is Ash Wednesday as if reminding me that I better get one too. Then I begin to look serious and ask them, "why put ashes in the forehead? What does it mean?" Then I get blank stares.

I have been brought up to always ask and know WHY things are done the way they are done. A case of function over form.

Why put ashes in the forehead during Ash Wednesday?

One reason (I guess there could be other reasons) is that it is supposed to be a ritual that represents an ancient Near East tradition of repentance from sin against God. Yes, repentance from sin.

Now, if my friends do not know why they have dirt in their forehead, does it not follow that they do not know what it symbolize. Does it also mean that they were not repentant? They have the form but not the function?

I am not against ashes. In fact, I hope more Christians (especially liturgical Christians like umc) practice it. I just hope that more Christians also understand what they are doing because it matters. Now, how do I remove this dirt from my forehead?