February…Month of Super Bowl, Valentine Day and this year—the Olympics.  When I think about those things, I can’t help but see analogies with my Christian life.  Take for instance, the Super Bowl—the NFL’s ultimate contest.  It reminds me that living the Christian life is engaging in a continual contest and struggle against the kingdom of darkness.  As Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against…spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.”  And to engage in this cosmic battle, we must suit up with “the full armor of God—the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.”  Why? “So that we may stand against the schemes of our great adversary, the devil.”  Then February is also the month for Valentines—cards expressing love.   It reminds me that love is much more than a card—it is a fruit of the Spirit and it doesn’t just ripen on one day of the year.  Love is the character of Christianity; it is the character of Christ; it is the character and color of the cross.  I like what someone once said: “Love is the aroma flowers give off when stepped upon.”  That was the aroma of Jesus’ words upon the cross: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  And that reminds me that these words should be the fragrance of my faith, always.  Finally, this year February features the Olympics.  Citius, Altius, Fortius—Faster, Higher, Stronger—that is the motto of the Olympics.  But is it not also the motto of the Christian faith.  The Apostle Paul wrote, “I must press on to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus….I must fight the good fight, finish my race, and keep the faith….I must never forget, as the Psalmist said, ‘My strength is in the Lord who maketh heaven and earth’ (Ps 121:2). February is going to be a great month!  Let’s go for the gold—the victor’s crown of righteousness which our captain, coach, and judge will one day award to all who “go the distance.”   Pastor Mike