I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 89:1
Today is Valentine’s Day – a day for chocolate, roses and jewelry. Perhaps a flowery card or a splash of champagne over a candlelit dinner, or a roughly cut from construction paper heart scrawled with crayons saying I LOVE U MOM.
But today is the day one man died for the love of His Lord. He was one of the early martyrs of the faith – beaten and beheaded today in 272 A.D. by a decree from the Emperor of Rome. His crime? He refused to stop marrying soldiers and their betrothed into a Christian union.
Valentine refused to stop because he felt he was called by his LORD to perform the marriage ceremonies. His love for God came first. Because he trusted in that steadfast love that the Psalmist also knew- the love that will never change, never die, never fade – he is remembered some 1700 years later. Like most religious holidays, it has been tainted by pagan customs and celebrations around the same time, commercialized and the meaning has deviated from it’s original intent. However, the message of love remains clear.
In order to truly love, we must first remember what Jesus said about love –
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. This is the first and great commandment and the second is like it- love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40
God who is love is the only one who can in turn instill love in us through his Holy Spirit. Until we truly love Him first, our love for ourselves and for others is tainted by human emotions, stained by sinful human nature and fluctuates by circumstances. Steadfast love comes from one source -the cross. (John 3:16). That love is worth telling the generations about and celebrating today, and always.