It starts as soon as the Christmas holiday ends. Shelves that days before held wreaths and roping are suddenly (almost magically) overflowing with pink stuffed hearts, boxes of candy, and lace-trimmed teddy bears. The more cynical among us know what’s really going on, what’s really behind this commercial sleight of hand. “Profess your love through purchase or risk emotional fallout.”
But what if this time of year is about more than the bottom line? What if those conversation hearts are trying to tell us something more? What if all of it could remind us of something that God Himself wants us to understand? We are made for intimacy.
When God made us, He formed us with a deep desire to connect with other people, and ultimately with Himself. Made in His image, we are made to live in the same loving, life-giving, intimate relationship that He enjoys within the Trinity. In fact, Jesus even prayed that we would be one just as he and the Father are one, “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one” (John 17:23). This drive for intimacy is so strong that we will do almost anything to achieve it—even endure abusive relationships or cross physical and emotional lines just to feel like we are loved, if only for a moment.
But true intimacy, the kind our hearts long for, will never come through human relationship alone. The love and acceptance we long for from each other—the feelings that shopkeepers hope will drive you to purchase boxes of candy and bouquets of flowers—ultimately mirror what God longs to share with us through his Son Jesus Christ. As John writes in his first epistle, “You too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (I John 1:3).
So when you see those boxes of chocolates and glitter-encrusted cards, don’t turn up your nose. Instead let them remind you that through Jesus, you are loved. Through Jesus, you are accepted. Through Jesus, you are known.