“For kids, Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean love, romance, or flowers. It means candy: conversation hearts, heart-shaped chocolates, and every kind of sugary confection that can be dyed red. So imagine the kids’ surprise when they visited their Aunt Tricia, the candy salesperson, and discovered that she had no Valentine’s candy in February. Oh, she had candy…lots of candy—an entire room full of candy. But it was all Halloween candy! 

Candy salespersons work six or more months ahead. While we are buying Christmas candy, they are selling Easter candy. While the stores are stocked with Valentine’s candy, they are taking orders for Halloween candy. Candy salespersons are always out of sync with the rest of the world.

In a way, so are Christians. We often find ourselves out of sync with what’s going on around us in the world. The world says, “An eye for an eye.” Jesus says “Turn the other cheek.” The world says, “Crush your enemy.” Jesus says, “Love your enemy. Pray for those who persecute you.” The world says, “Take all you can get.” Jesus says, ”Store up treasure in heaven instead.” 

Like Halloween candy in February, we don’t make sense to the unbelieving world. But as Jesus reminds us, we are in the world, but not really of the world, for we are citizens of heaven and children of God. Peter puts it this way:

Dear friends, you are foreigners and strangers on this earth. So I beg you not to surrender to those desires that fight against you. Always let others see you behaving properly, even though they may still accuse you of doing wrong. Then on the day of judgment, they will honor God by telling the good things they saw you do. – 1 Peter 2:11-12

Have a happy Valentine’s Day (no matter what kind of candy you have).

Pastor Mark