My spouse and I have a favorite Valentine’s Day memory – and it has almost nothing to do with us.

We checked in with our reservation for Valentine’s Day Fine Dining at White Castle. We sat at a table decorated with red-and-pink shiny confetti, an LED candle adding a glow of romance. We ate too many tiny cheeseburgers. It was awesome.

As we were getting ready to leave, the couple next to us was receiving their fancy V-day tableside service. The server set down an entire platter of food between them – little burgers on top of little burgers, like a beefy pyramid. The woman stared down at the food in front of her, then burst out laughing. So! Many! Sliders! The joy and absurdity of that over-abundance of steamed beef patties just bubbled up out of her in spontaneous giggles.

God’s love for us is like that plate full of sliders. It’s abundant. It’s more than we expect. Some people might even say it’s “too much.”

Do you remember when Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish? With only five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus fed a crowd of thousands – and there were 12 baskets of food left over. More than when they started (Matt. 14:13-21).

Or how about when Jesus turned water into wine? He didn’t just roll out an extra barrel – he made somewhere between 630 and 946 bottles of wine! And it was good wine – the steward said it was the best wine of the whole party (John 2:1-11).

Or, there’s that especially frustrating parable: a landowner hires some workers for 12 hours, some for 8, some for just 2…and he pays them all for a whole day’s work. When the all-day workers complain, the landowner says, “Are you envious that I am generous?” (Matt. 20:1-16).

These stories are revelations of God’s abundant love for us. 

So many of the powers around us and within us preach the bad news of scarcity. 

Advertisements manipulate us into believing that we don’t have enough. Politicians convince us that if “they” get more, “we” get less. Our anxiety makes us pull inward to hang on tight to what we have. Comparing ourselves to the people around us can make us feel like we are not enough.

But God’s love is set in front of us, and it’s more than enough. It’s so much that it overpowers all those other messages. God’s love stands tall and strong as the capital-T Truth that helps us see the lies in the world’s messages.

And God’s truth is: There is enough. You are enough. 

And both of those things are true because God is more than enough.

God serves a mountain of love to us. So let’s dare to laugh – yes, even when things are hard; yes, even when we doubt. Because that much love – it can handle it all. It is more than enough.

“Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Feb. 9, 2022

Pr Kate

Rev. Katherine Museus Dabay takes turns writing weekly devotions with Rev. James A. Wetzstein at Valparaiso University, where both serve as university pastors.