Happy Valentine’s Day

For whom the day bears the name is uncertain. Nonetheless, African, Roman or Umbrian all have a saint for whom they lay claim. None of them were romantic.

A Roman priest named Valentinus seems to be the most logical. He was arrested during the reign of Emperor Gothicus and put into the custody of an aristocrat named Asterius.

Valentinus talked incessantly about Jesus leading pagans out of the shadow of darkness and into the light of truth and salvation. Asterius made a bargain with Valentinus: If the Christian could cure Asterius’s foster-daughter of blindness, he would convert. Valentinus put his hands over the girl’s eyes and chanted:

“Lord Jesus Christ, en-lighten your handmaid, because you are God, the True Light.” 

Immediately the child could see, according to the medieval legend. Asterius and his whole family were baptized. Reacting when Emperor Gothicus heard the news, he ordered them all to be executed. Valentine was beheaded.

The Christian concept of love was expressed by the Apostle John: 

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (I John 4: 7, 8)

John did not use the Greek word “Eros,” which means romantic love. Eros is the Greek name for their god Eros, also known by the Roman name Cupid, the god of love. Around Valentine’s Day Cupid is depicted as a chubby, cherub-like figure, who shoots persons with love arrows. The type of love of which John spoke doesn’t come from an arrow out of Cupid’s quiver. It comes from God.

For clarity John identifies the source of Agape by saying “God is love.” 

(I John 4: 8 & 16) Selfless, self-giving love describes the character and heart of  God. He adds “love is of God.” It is to be reciprocal between God and man, and between persons. Got it, selfless and self giving.

Near every home is an electric transformer. It changes the type of electricity coming from the source to a form that is usable in the home. Love coming from God is to be transformed in our lives and made usable as John says by loving one another. “….everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

Sing this little chorus:
“Let Your love flow through me
O Lord make me a blessing wherever, I may be
Keep me pure, keep me clean so that You might be seen
O let Your Love, let Your love flow through me.”

Now go out and show people you have been born of God and know God by loving one another.