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WELS Civilian Chaplaincy in Europe
It is our mission to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in English throughout Europe in order to serve people with God's Saving Word and Sacraments.

For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
 John 3:16

February is here. The dark days of winter are slowly but surely waning, and the first signs of spring begin to appear. There is even a popular American observance to mark this change—Groundhog Day. In fact, Americans celebrate all sorts of things in February (an escape from the dreariness of most of the month in most of the country, perhaps?). February holidays and celebrations run the gamut from watching for that Groundhog to honoring past leaders on Presidents’ Day. It is also Black History Month. In addition, there are a few obscure, humorous celebrations too like Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbors DayRead in the Bathtub Day, and International Tongue Twister Day (Trust me… you can Google it). But the favorite February observance, although not a holiday, has to be Valentine’s Day. It is a day to celebrate love, and many do that by sending cards, candy, and flowers to those dearest to us. In America, Valentine’s Day accounts for nearly $20 billion in economic activity each year.

More importantly, February also begins the season when we remember how our God showed his love to the world. On February 17th, Christians observe Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  It is the time of year we reflect on what it means that ‘God gave his one and only Son.’ We ponder the depth of that love as we focus on our Savior’s journey to the cross.  We watch as Jesus institutes his Supper with his disciples. We see Jesus betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. We follow him to the judgment hall where he is tortured. We watch as Pilate condemns Jesus to suffer the horrible death of crucifixion on Golgatha.  We stand silently as Joseph lays our Savior in the tomb. We walk away filled with sorrow over the cause of Jesus’ suffering and death—our sins. And, yet, our hearts overflow with thanksgiving for the Death that gave us eternal Life.  Our hearts are filled with joy that our God showed us what true love is. That love is summed up beautifully in these words:

 We know what LOVE is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. (1 John 3:16)

May your February be filled with the love of family and friends. May your devotions be focused on the love that our heavenly Father lavished on us when he sent Jesus to be our Savior.  May your hearts overflow with thanksgiving for his LOVE!

Christ the Life of all the living, Christ, the Death of death, our foe,
Who, thyself for me once giving To the darkest depths of woe—
Through thy sufferings, death and merit I eternal life inherit.
Thousand, thousand thanks shall be, Dearest Jesus, unto thee.

            CW 114

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