I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write about love on Valentine’s Day. While my husband has always called February 14th a “Hallmark Holiday,” there are actually some ties to Christianity and Valentine’s Day. (Personally, I think he just doesn’t want anyone to tell him he must buy his wife flowers or chocolate on a certain day, but I digress.)
Did you know that Valentine’s Day was only removed as a feast day from the Christian liturgical calendar in 1969? There are many versions of the legend of St. Valentine. Maybe you’ve heard some of them. I won’t list them all, but here’s the one I like best: Saint Valentine is known as the patron saint of love, and couples are asked to remember their devotion to God when praying to Saint Valentine, connecting them so that two become one.
We know who we go to when we pray, and it most certainly is not Saint Valentine. But what does the Bible say about love? Quite a bit, as I’m sure you know. Many of us had these verses read at our wedding:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
These verses focus on loving others:
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12)
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “ You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
I’ll close with what I believe Valentine’s Day should signify. It starts with the question that one of the Pharisees asked Jesus in order to test him: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Matthew 22:36) Do you remember what Jesus said? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38) So it’s not about flowers or chocolate. Hmm… maybe my husband is actually onto something!
May we continue to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind,
Head of School