Valentine’s Day is big business. In 2017 the UK alone splashed out nearly £1 billion on celebrating love. As humans we long to love and be loved. Sadly, our longing for romance means that catfishing – using a fake identity to contact another person – is also big business; and with a quarter of us looking for love online it’s easy to hide. Every day in the UK 10 catfish crimes are reported with victims losing an average of £15,000. In one scam a handsome looking US soldier pledged undying love and marriage, if only his intended could send him £600 to pay his son’s hospital bill. It turned out that the soldier was actually a penniless barber in Nigeria looking to make easy money.
Of course, the way to avoid being catfished is to meet face to face. That way you can be as certain as you can that the love being offered is real. Perhaps that’s why when God wanted to tell us that he loved us, he didn’t just send a message but came in person. We might easily doubt the sincerity of a God who shouts ‘I love you’ from the confines of heaven. But a God who says it while hanging on a cross, well that’s a different matter.