A wonderful sermon was given at church yesterday about how Valentine's Day isn't just about romantic love. In fact, people in the East celebrate it as a day of love and wish members of their family and their friends on this day. The West has hijacked Valentine's Day as a couple's celebratory event.
When I was in church yesterday listening to this sermon I wondered about whether ordinary folk would equate the church with Valentine's Day. Using the Western concept the answer would be 'no'. However, using the Eastern concept, I still don't think ordinary people would because of the stark contrast between the streamlining of gays and women into society and the CoE's perceived hostility towards these groups. The CoE's ongoing tussles over sexual orientation and gender mobility hardly lends itself to an inclusive notion of love. This is then the Valentine challenge for the church and I suspect many more Valentine's Days will pass before a resolution is reached.