In writing the valentine post i couldn't help think about Matt Chandler's 'Jesus wants the rose' story from a few years back.
Here's how it went:
"...during my freshman year of college when I sat next to a 26-year-old single mother trying to get her degree. We began a dialogue about the grace and mercy of Christ in the cross. Some other guys and I would go over and babysit her child and try to talk with her. A friend of mine was in a band playing in the area and we invited her to hear him. She agreed. She thought it would be a concert. I knew better. It was shady and she agreed to come.
The minister got up and said we would talk about sex. He took a red rose, smelled it, and threw it out in the crowd and told them to smell the rose. He then began one of the worst, most horrific handlings of what sex is and isn’t that I ever sat through.
I’m thinking, with Kim beside me, “What are you doing?"
As he wrapped up, he asked, “Where’s my rose?” Some kid brought the rose back and it was broken. His point was to hold up the rose and say, “Who wants this rose?”
Anger welled up within me and I wanted to say, “Jesus wants the rose!” While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Many of us are like that used, tattered rose, broken, marred & destroyed by sin in our lives. Certainly far from being like the roses that will be purchased a few weeks from now for valentine.
But what hope fills the mind when you hear those words "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" ........... "Jesus wants the rose!"