Full News Sheet: Feb 12
All over the western world, and beyond, on Tuesday, people will be giving and receiving cards, chocolates and flowers for Valentines’ Day.
In some places it is a big celebration of love and romance. Even in Syria many shops were decorated and cakes (which are a speciality) were all bright red for the occasion!
Exchanging valentines is a very ancient custom. It can be traced back through the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer who noticed that birds began choosing their mates on 14th February.
In 496AD, Pope Galasius tried to give Christian meaning to the Festival, without much success.
Of course the day belongs to St Valentine—one of two Christian martyrs of that name who was put to death for his faith on 14th February. The Roman Valentine was a priest who was killed under Claudius II in 269. A gate to Rome called ‘The Porto Valentini is named after him.
These days Valentines’ Day is all about romantic love, but this is only one kind of love.
Everyone knows that when we talk about Christian love we mean more than romance.
Love is the plain duty of every Christian because:
1. It is commanded “A new commandment I give to you”, said Jesus, “that you love one another.”
2. It is evidence that we live in the light and possess eternal life. (1 John 3).
3. God is love. He has loved us in Christ and he continues to love in and through us. “If we love one another, God dwells in us and his love is perfected in us.”
Not just for St Valentine’s Day, but every day our love for one another is evidence of God’s presence within and among us.
Happy Valentine’s Day!