|Let me share some thoughts about our spiritual selves and our Lord in light of the emphases raised by the two national holidays we observe in this month of February: Valentine’s Day – love; and Presidents Day – leadership.
LOVE: “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing!” – besides being the title of a classic film and well-loved song – is a phrase that seems to hold a lot of truth. Unlike in English’s one-word, in one of the original Biblical languages of Classical Greek there are four words that can be translated “love”. Agápe means love in a spiritual sense. Éros refers to love in a physical/sexual /romantic sense. Philia reflects love in a friendship/mental sense. Storge points to love in a natural/family sense. What we basically celebrate about love this month is just a part of what love really is. The truth is that love is “many-splendored” in the way we each experience living out in its fullness throughout our whole lives.
LEADERSHIP: At our most recent Synod Bishop’s Conference I was reminded of its power and importance in this thought: There is a difference between management and leadership. Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right thing. History reveals that the two presidents we honor this month knew full well that difference.
JESUS: In his life and ministry Jesus certainly moved in both the broadest and most powerful sense of both those words…love and leadership. Time and again the scriptures remind us that his love for us and the world motivated him to do the right thing, regardless of the personal consequences. Each story of his strong leadership reflects an amazing ability to touch people and circumstances in the exact way they needed to experience being loved.
So, as we again observe these two national celebrations in this month, I invite you to let them be important in a broader and more powerful way than usual. Use them as reminders of who and what we are encouraged as disciples, individually and together — called to be leaders/lovers and lovers/leaders following his extraordinary example in our lives and world today.
Rev. Jimmy Lee Werley