is the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Here is link that talks about the
history of how Valentine’s Day was created: www.walksofitaly.com/blog/art-culture/the-strange-but-true-story-behind-valentines-day.
this is not your conventional story about a Valentine’s Day that is filled with
romance, it’s a fascinating take on a tradition that is widely celebrated on
February 14 in many countries around the world.
start from the beginning. Who was Saint Valentine?
better question is “who were?” Depending on who’s counting, there are between
12 and 14 Saint Valentines, including a Spanish hermit and a woman, Valentina. It
turns out it was a common name during Late Antiquity.
far as anyone can tell, Saint Valentine of Valentine’s Day was one of two guys
preaching the good word in Rome in the third century. One of these two was
martyred on February 14, thus giving us the date for this eponymous day.
Chaucer has nothing to do with Roman martyrs but he has a lot to do with
English literature, and that’s how he created a connection between Saint
Valentine and love celebrations.
first written connection between love and Valentine’s Day appears in his poem, “Parlement
of Foules,” written in the late 14th century. He appears to have simply
invented the correlation and chalked it up to poetic license, though it’s also
possible that he was drawing from older courtly traditions.
Valentine’s Day is basically a sham invented by a poet to make his lines
exactly. Shortly after Chaucer mentioned love on Valentine’s Day, real life
lovers began to send each other love poems on February 14. It is possible that
these predate Chaucer, but we simply do not know. People have been writing
valentines to their loved ones for over 500 years, so even if there’s no direct
connection to a guy who was murdered by the ancient Roman pagans, it’s still
part of a serious legacy of love.
thought it was just another Hallmark Holiday . . .
so fast. Modern Valentine’s Day is very much a product of various industries
that benefit from it, namely stationery, chocolate, flowers and jewelry. Every
year, billions of dollars are spent on these items. Even countries where
western holidays are frowned upon or outlawed have seen an upsurge in
Valentine’s Day gifts in recent years. In Saudi Arabia, where the holiday is
illegal, there is a thriving black market for red roses and heart-shaped
chocolates in February.
in Japan (possibly due to a translation error in an early chocolate ad) women
are expected to give chocolate to lovers, boyfriends, and even male co-workers.
However, Japan also celebrates a gift-giving tradition on March 14 where they
are expected to give white chocolates of equal or greater value to anyone who
gave them chocolate in February.
that we have some background of where Valentine’s Day came from, let me remind
you what the most important characteristic of Christian love is: being able to
sacrifice ourselves, as Jesus did, for others/neighbors. To love someone like a
Christian is to love someone unconditionally, sacrificially, and graciously.
reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13 what Christian love is all about:
may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I
have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may
have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand
all secrets; I may have all faith needed to move mountains, but if I have no
love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body
to be burned, but if I have no love, this does me no good. Love is patient
and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or
selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy
with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love
never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.
it eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are
gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge,
but it will pass. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only
partial; but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will
I was a child, my speech, my feelings, and thinking were all of those of a child;
now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. What we see now
is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; hen it will
be complete, as complete as God’s knowledge of me.
these three remain: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love."
try and keep all of this description of what Christian love is and what it calls
us to do for others when we spend a lot of money for a card, candy, jewelry, and
going out to eat. May we love someone unconditionally,
sacrificially, and as graciously as God through Jesus Christ and the Holy
Spirit reminds us how we are loved and how to share it.
to think about and do something about as we share God’s love, hope and joy with