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How are you celebrating Valentines Day?

February 3, 2014

My wife will be pleased to know I am going to break the habit of my married life and celebrate Valentines day! Not by buying overpriced roses or pre-booking a restaurant but by declaring my undying love for Jesus, by praying for my Christian brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith and by trying to show God’s love by being reconciled with my ‘enemies’ (that is not an indirect reference to my wife!)

Let me explain, I have just taken a school assembly on the theme of love. With Valentines Day one week away I used Valentines Day as my theme. In preparing, I discovered the roots of Valentines day. It is a saints day, remembering Valentine. Little is known about which Valentine (there are a few possibilities) and why he was sainted but the most popularised theory is that he was a Christian priest of Rome who was martyred for his faith in 436AD and buried in Via Flaminia on 14th Feb. He was imprisoned for his faith during the persecution of Christians under Roman Emperor Claudius 2nd. During his imprisonment he befriended his jailer and his daughter. He prayed for the jailers daughter to be healed from her blindness and she was! Before his execution he supposedly left the jailers daughter a card – from your Valentine,

To what extent these accounts are true, I can only assume they are myths as they do not stand up to much historical accuracy, however it does turn me to look at the life of the saints (and according to the bible that is all Christians!). It gets me to ask myself

1. How much do I love Christ – whose name I carry. Will I stand up for him whatever others may think or do?
2. There are many Christians around the world who are still persecuted and imprisoned for their faith, will I stand alongside them. Will I love them as brothers and sisters. Check out both the BMS and opendoors websites who are challenging us this lent to pray for North Korea.
3. Do I love my enemies and seek their good? How will I reconcile relationships that have turned sour? Even my close relationships? Do I pray for those who have harmed me?

All this reminds me of what true love is, and this is what we should be celebrating on Valentines Day. The true love that can stand the test scrutiny of historical evidence in person, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

‘This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters., 1 John 3:16

Do you know what love is? This Valentines find out about love as you accept that Jesus loves you! When you have found the purest love in Jesus – live it out in your marriages, home, neighbourhood, churches in our world as we lay down our lives for others – or at least make some sacrifice to restore and show love.

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