MARY TAYLOR MEMORIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
The Reverend Dr. Brian Bodt
|at 203-874-1982, or by
cell at 203-895-3753.
Dear MTMUMC community,
This year Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day are the same day.* We tend not to think of them in the same way, with the
former recalling the sacrificial love of Christ and the latter the love of romance.
Yet the two are more similar than we might imagine. It is often the little things, done sacrificially for our beloved, that cause
us to fall in love or remind us why we did. Conversely, the blessing Christ received from God at both his baptism and his
Transfiguration was “You are my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well-pleased.” (emphasis mine)
The foundation of both is love: love that wills the well-being of another, that sacrifices for them, that cherishes them as
beloved. One way to walk the Lenten journey would be to “take on” a commitment to broader, deeper love: for those easy to
love and those not as easy to love.
One of my favorite Lenten hymns is an American folk hymn, author unknown, that explores the mystery of such love. Note
that, although the lyrics appear to be a question, they are punctuated as an affirmation:
“What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
what wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.
Happy Valentine’s Day. A blessed Ash Wednesday! Wondrous love, indeed!
The Rev. Dr. Brian R. Bodt
* Ash Wednesday is February 14, with services in our sanctuary at 7 a.m., Noon and 7:30 p.m.