As the ads on TV and in the paper have been telling you, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. We will be taking up the theme of love on Sunday. Pastor Beth is preaching on 1st John 4:7-21 and her title is “Have a Little Heart.” The Chancel Choir is singing in the first service. We will be collecting a Noisy Offering. After the Children’s Time, the kids will be coming around with tin buckets. We want you to make some noise, by dumping whatever loose change you might have in the buckets. So if you have a change jar on your dresser, bring it along and dump it in. Of course, we will accept “quiet money” as well, portraits of Lincoln, Jefferson and Jackson. The money we collect will go towards our Crowbar Projects. You will hear more about Crowbar Projects on Sunday.
St. Valentine was a Christian pastor who was beheaded in Rome around the year 270. Not much is known about him. One story is that he was arrested for officiating at Christian weddings, particularly the weddings of Roman soldiers, and that is his connection with romance and love. Another story is that after his arrest, he healed the daughter of his jailer, and apparently they fell in love. When he was executed, he left her a note that ended “Love, Your Valentine”. And that was the beginning of sending Valentine letters.
Both of these stories were written down over a thousand years after Valentine’s martyrdom, so probably have very little basis on historical facts. And a lot of what goes on surrounding this holiday, while fun, is rather frivolous, having absolutely nothing to do with a Christian saint.
But the name Valentine is from the Latin word valens that means “strong, worthy or powerful.” We get English words like “valid” and “value” from this root. In Philippians 4:8, the Apostle Paul writes: “Finally, beloved,whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think aboutthese things.” Paul tells us we should be focusing our attention on what is worthwhile, what is valens. And that is a good thought for Valentine’s Day or any day for that matter.
Stay in One Peace,