The month of February is here. February is the month of love, and the month of Valentines.
Tradition has it that we celebrate Valentines Day because of St. Valentine. He was a Christian high-ranking Roman Senator. He had household slaves that were Christians. They decided to have a worship service for our God out in the middle of a forest, in the middle of nowhere. The Romans found out, and arrested all the household servants. At this time, the Roman Government wanted to stamp out Christianity. The Romans blamed the Christians for starting the Great Fire of Rome. Also, the worship of Christians disrupted the Roman culture in which many and various gods were worshiped.
After being arrested the household slaves were jailed. They were then given the opportunity to deny that they believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and their personal Savior. If anyone of them denied, they would then be set free. If they did not, they would found guilty and sentenced to either torture, or put to death for sport in the Roman Coliseum by gladiators or starved animals such as lions. None of St. Valentine’s household slaves denied the faith. They were all facing death.
When St. Valentine heard of their imprisonment, he was heartbroken. He tried to support them in a unique way. He acquired some red paper and cut out hearts. On each heart he wrote a Bible verse and words of encouragement. This was the first Valentine.
St. Valentine then decided to offer a trade to the Romans. Himself for his household salves. As a high-ranking Roman Senator, St. Valentine would make better sport than his household slaves. The Romans agreed.
St. Valentine was then asked why he would do such an thing? St. Valentine replied, “This is what my Jesus did for me. How could I not do this for my household servants that I love?” Jesus said, “No greater love does one have for another than they lie down their life for them so that they can live.” (John 5:16)
All of this reflects the great love of our God. Our God has a unique kind of love. It is the love that St. Paul the blessed Apostle wrote about in 1 Corinthians 13. Our god’s love is unconditional, sacrificial, supportive, and encouraging.
This is why we celebrate Valentine’s Day and give valentines to our loved ones.
Have a Great February Pastor Brad Rick