One Messy Valentine’s Day
By Amy Bartholomew
A very warm HELLO to you!!
Can you believe we are already done with January of 2022?! Hold on tight – this year is off to a running start!
With February already at our doorsteps, I thought it might be interesting to dig into who (Saint) Valentine was, and why such a “lovey-dovey” mess is made over him these days.
As I discovered doing a bit of research, Valentine was a real person. A Roman Christian in the third century. What else is known about him is often labeled with the qualifying “according to tradition,” and so, in that spirit, here it goes:
During the time of Saint Valentine, Christianity was outlawed. Roman citizens were required by law to worship the Emperor, declaring publicly, “Caesar is Lord!” Of course, this is something no Christian could do, so Valentine, like many others, refused.
But here’s where his story takes a turn for the miraculous. While in prison, Valentine decided to continue witnessing to God’s faithfulness. One day he discovered his jailer was, by all accounts, a good man, having adopted a helpless blind girl. Responding to his guard’s request, Valentine prayed…and the girl was given back her sight.
Needless to say, when the Emperor found out about this miracle in the name of Jesus, he immediately sentenced Valentine to death.
But Valentine wasn’t done leaving his mark on history just yet. Right before being led to his execution, Valentine wrote a farewell note to the jailer’s daughter, signing it, “From your Valentine.”
You see, the first valentine wasn’t an expression of romantic love at all. It was an expression of faith.
Why have we lost that in the modern-day?
And what if, even in 2022, we could reclaim Valentine’s Day, as a day to make bold steps and live out our faith just like the founder of this holiday did.
What would it be like to celebrate not just the “butterflies-in-our-stomach” kind of love…but, the unstoppable, “no holds barred” love, from the only ONE who is LOVE?
Points for consideration/reflection:
In what ways do you connect with the story of Valentine?
While we are fortunate to live in a country where we are free to practice our faith, are there other personal factors you feel hold you back from fully sharing your faith?
Has God been calling you to step out in faith in some way, (i.e. with neighbors, family, friends, through your church, or even with Water Street.)?
Aside from the pandemic, are there other life events that have deepened your faith? Or discouraged your faith?
Have you ever chosen an ‘inconvenient’ activity in hopes that it would deepen your faith? (i.e. volunteering, mission trip, etc.)