This sermon is part of the sermon series "Searching the Soul". See series.
Valentine's Day is tomorrow and I'm jittery. I love my sweetheart—no doubt about that—but I confess that Valentine's Day gives me the heebie-jeebies. I mean, we've been married 32 years, and I wasn't much of a romantic in the first place. After all those years, I've said all my sweet nothings a bunch of times. I read where, "More than half of men—57.8 percent—say they'll buy flowers, and almost one in five plans to purchase jewelry for Valentine's Day." I also read that a survey "found that the average consumer will spend $97.27 on Valentine's Day." Oh, man, I am so not there!
Here's the thing that really bothers me. Maybe I'm too introspective, but I wonder if this dullness with romantic expressions really says something about my heart, about my love for Susan. Maybe I take her far too much for granted, and that's why I can't really come up with a five-star expression of my love for her.
Today's text is a kind of Valentine story that poses the same question to all of us—when it comes to our love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are in the season of Lent—"a season for searching the soul." For the next six Sundays, as we study Matthew 26-27, we will search our own souls through the lenses of the people closest to Jesus in his last hours. This is a season for spiritual introspection, and I hope you will join me in giving yourself to this spiritual exercise for a few weeks.
One of the things that struck me in reading these last three chapters of Matthew is the juxtaposition of stories. Today's text—Matthew 26:1-16—is a case in point. The events described are not, strictly speaking, in chronological order, but Matthew has arranged these three sections to make a spiritual ...
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