Feb. 9, 2017
Dear Hyde Park Family,
Valentine’s Day is one of those commercialized holidays that most folks either observe or ignore. It may be that you have a special someone with whom next Tuesday will be a time of celebration. For others, it may be a melancholy time of loneliness and longing. Regardless of your lot in life this February 14th, I wrote this prayer asking God’s blessing upon you and those you love this Valentine’s Day.
A VALENTINE’S DAY PRAYER
Eternal God of Love and Grace,
In your very being we discover the essence of relational, triune love. For you are the Lover, the Beloved, and the love that flows in between. As one created in your image, empower me today to be a person of deeper love – – heart, soul, mind, and strength – – both for you and for those around me.
During this upcoming Valentine’s Day, commercialized by chocolates, flowers, and candy hearts, grant me an authentic love, stripped of selfish desire and plastic facade, and shaped by a view of myself as you see me.
Enable me to forgive and to ask for forgiveness, that I may share in the reconciling work of Jesus throughout creation. Teach me to harbor no ill will or resentment for wrongs done to me. And may the lingering effects of hurtful memories wane over time.
Give me sober judgment in the way I practice love with those dearest to me. For with them I can be at my most vulnerable, but I am often my most guarded. Empower me and those I love to rebuild trust where it is broken, and openness where there is self-protection.
Help me to deepen the friendships I have with those who are most concerned for my well-being. Strengthen my relationships with those to whom I can be best accountable for my actions, who can offer me godly advice, who love me unconditionally, and who can speak the truth to me without judgment or reserve.
Grant me a heightened awareness of those around me who feel both unloved and unlovable. Make me an agent of loving hospitality, embodying the warm, welcoming embrace of your love for them. Give me opportunities to reach out to those who are lonely, frightened, confused, and distraught, that I might be for them what others have been for me.
Thank you for loving me in ways that are both tenacious and patient. Work past the harboring barriers that I have built within myself, keeping me from experiencing the free flow of your love in my life. See through my self-assuredness, release me from doubt and disbelief, do not be deceived by my pride, and love me through my guilt and shame. For in your grace I can find my truest and best self, as one created in your very same relational, triune image.
I pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Love Made Real,
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist