The Day After the Hoopla
My children think Valentine’s Day is about them. Since most of the time it is on a week day, my husband and I don’t do the whole go-out-to-dinner thing until the weekend. In the beginning, he and I were sharing a plate of spaghetti on his balcony the day he proposed (which was the day before he was actually going to propose, but that’s a different story). And it just so happens that spaghetti and meatballs is my daughter’s favorite meal. So, we’ve made it a tradition to have a candle light dinner with the kids, our spaghetti, and our begging dog every Valentine’s Day. I make homemade valentines and place them at their seats, the kids get a small token of our love, and we dig into chocolate covered strawberries afterwards.
Matt, like the wonderful husband he is, called me up through the day with humorous “Roses are Red” poems for me. He also came home with a few of my favorite things. I told him that the chocolate cannoli’s from the local Italian restaurant gave him an extra 1,000 husband points. It was a wonderful evening, and I still have my dinner date to look forward to. Good times.
But what really counts is the day after the hoopla. Everyone knows how to be romantic when they are trying to impress someone. And yes, I am very happy that my husband still wants to impress me on Valentine’s Day. But Matt is an amazing husband everyday. He woke up this morning to me pounding away at the computer. Like every other morning, he grabbed my empty cup of coffee, and went to get me a second cup, just as a way to serve me. And he tells me with a concerned look on his face, “We forgot to pray together last night. We can’t get into that habit; we need to make sure to pray together tonight." 1,000 more points without even trying to impress.
The day after an exciting event or holiday can be a let down for many. This got me thinking about the Christian living in the tension of the already of Christ’s inaugural kingdom and the not yet of its consummation. Our great King has revealed himself, condescended as a human while also keeping his divine nature, fulfilled all righteousness, died our cursed death, rose out of the grave on the third day, walked among his disciples, teaching them how he was the fulfillment of all that has been written, and about the new age he has inaugurated. And something magnificent is going on even now, many days after. Continually, everyday, Christ is now seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercession on behalf of his bride, the church.
And he never forgets to intercede for us.
Because our Great Husband already offered both eucharistic gifts and propitiatory sacrifices, we have a perpetual advocate with the Father. Even now, while we are living in this tension between the two ages, while we still struggle daily with sin and temptation as we pursue holiness, we can draw near to God in confidence because his Son has supplied all that we need for God’s abounding grace. And in this everyday, ordinary life after the hoopla, we hold fast to the most amazing hope of all—that our Savior is coming for his bride. He is even now preparing a new heaven and a new earth, as his Spirit is preparing us through sanctification to be able to dwell with him there for eternity.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:14-16).