(Note for parents: The "Wordless Book" is a great way to share the gospel story with children. You could have your kids help you make an easy version by cutting hearts from black, red, white, green and gold paper, then explain what it means with the following:)
Valentine's Day is all about showing love to the people around us. Cards, candy, flowers...little tokens to say "I love you" to someone special.
When I was young, I received a small heart-shaped pendant as an award in a Sunday School contest. It had five tiny heart-shaped pages: black, red, white, green and gold. Although the pages weren't all pink or red or lacy or funny like most of our Valentine's, they represented the greatest love of all. A love that's even bigger than my mom or dad's love for me. Those little hearts told the story of God's love.
The black page was a reminder of our sin-filled hearts; red represents the blood of Christ that washes our hearts "white as snow," the white page is our pure hearts, green represents spiritual growth as we read scripture and pray, and the gold is a symbol of our eternal life in heaven.There's a song that explains it: (here's a link to the music)
The Bible tells us that God loves us so much that he sent his son to take the punishment for everything we've ever done or ever will do wrong so that we can live forever with God.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son. That whoever would believe in Him would have everlasting life." John 3:16
There is no better Valentine than that!
Meringue Hearts with Raspberry Sauce
This dessert reminds me of the message of that 'wordless book;" the snowy white of the meringue a symbol of our hearts washed clean, the deep red of the sauce a picture of the blood spilled as Christ's heart broke for the world He died to save. (This is an easy recipe for children to help with.)
2 to 4 large egg whites, room temp.
1 to 2 cups extra-fine granulated sugar (about 1/2 cup sugar per egg white)
12 ounces fresh or frozen (thawed) raspberries
3 tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a clean glass or copper bowl (not plastic), beat egg whites with a wire whisk or an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gently add sugar and beat until stiff and glossy.
To form hearts, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make imprints on a piece of foil cut to line baking sheets. Using a metal spoo or pastry tube filled with meringue, draw shapes about 1/2 inch thick.
Place baking sheet into oven, allowing about 90 minutes for meringues to dry out. Be sure that they do not start to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before handling.
Sauce: Mix raspberries and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Press through fine mesh strainer or sieve to remove seeds. Squeeze lemon and strain the juice into raspberry sauce. Just before serving, fill well in center of plate with sauce, place meringue heart on top. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
Note: You could do this same devotion with a chocolate heart-shaped sugar cookie (to represent a heart dark with sin) a layer of raspberry or strawberry jam to represent being covered with the blood of Christ and topped with white icing or marshmellow cream as a symbol of being made clean.