Devotion for February 13-15, 2018

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

This year Ash Wednesday happens to fall on St. Valentine’s Day, February 14. This is a rather odd coincidence. A day dedicated to the joy of romantic love will also be the day where we mourn and repent our sins.

To be sure, Valentine’s Day is not happy for all people. There are those who have lost their life-long loves through death or divorce. There are those who have been rejected and feel loveless and alone. Back in college, we used to call Valentine’s Day “Singles Awareness Day,” because those who were single felt awkward and out of place.

On this Valentine’s Day, which happens to be Ash Wednesday, know that you are loved by your heavenly Father with an incredible, deep, profound love, beyond any other love you will ever know. Your heavenly Father loves you so much that He sends His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you.

The symbol you see most often on Valentine’s Day is a heart. Sometimes that heart has an arrow through it, a symbol that you have been smitten by love. Jesus Christ took not an arrow, but a spear through His heart because of His love for you. His blood flowed freely to cover all your sin.

Through this blood of Jesus we are made clean and whole once more. His blood washes away our sin. Jesus gives us a new heart. That was the prayer of David. He had committed grave sin through his adultery with Bathsheba, and by murdering her husband, Uriah. Here in Psalm 51, he prays that the Lord would give him a new, clean heart.

We sing that song of David every week as our Offertory. We ask that the Lord would cleanse and purify our heart by the blood of Jesus that flowed from His pierced heart.

And He does. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, the love of God is for you. You are loved today and every day by the One who made you and who gave His Son for you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You love me, and You sent You only Son to die for me. Forgive me for being loveless and heartless. Create in me a clean heart to love and serve those around me.