Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What is love?

For people that know me, it rarely comes as a surprise that I offer my opinion on just about everything.  However, it may come as a surprise that I do not feel particularly strong one way or another about Valentine's Day.  I get a kick out of "St Hallmark's Day", and generally frown at wild and rampant consumerism, but I don't really mind Valentine's Day.  In fact, because red is my favorite color and I love chocolate perhaps more than any other food, I kind of like the holiday.  I have spent a lot of Valentine's Days in relationships, and a lot of Valentine's Days single, so I don't attach much importance to it in that regard.  Frankly, if you are truly in love shouldn't every day be like Valentine's Day?  (and shouldn't I be writing Hallmark cards instead of grant proposals?) 

Sometimes people try to garner sympathy by drawing attention to their single status on the so-called day of love.  Or try to feel good about being single by going on "dates" with their friends or sisters or dog, et al.   Whatever you need to do for self-empowerment is fine by me, but please don't drag Jesus into your romantic self-involvment.  

This morning in my facebook newsfeed was a peculiar little gem from a high school friend.  Her status from yesterday was "Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Jesus is my Valentine and He made me feel loved and beautiful today!"  Great.  Congratulations.  Happy for you.     Excuse me while I go pull my hair out, one painful strand at a time.  Jesus is not your boyfriend.  It is kind of early in the day for deep theological pondering, so I will climb down off my soapbox.  But before I go...

I am trying really hard not to be judgmental, but this is Bad Theology.  Reducing Jesus to the level of a junior high boyfriend is sick and kind of arrogant.  It puts Jesus into a box, assumes that you know the way Jesus operates, and that Jesus' goal is to make you feel good about yourself because you don't have a boyfriend.  Ick.  While Jesus might indeed be doing that (I have no wish to speculate here), there are a few more pressing issues at hand in our world.  God loves you, but God loves everyone else too. 

This "Personal Relationship with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" theology is empty, leaves no room for wonder and is "me-focused" instead of "other-focused."    Faith and community with others in the name of faith frees us to love and serve one another.  That is love.  We are not called to leverage our "personal relationship" for our own gain.   It smacks a bit of the Prosperity Gospel.  But that is an entirely different discussion. 

Just my two cents...

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

YEAH! BAM! I am literally standing up clapping. That's it, sister. Thank you. <3