What a bitter irony. It must pain Valentine so. The day the ancient church decided to celebrate his martyrdom is now used as an excuse for all sorts of debauchery. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the day entirely. I bought my little girl a teddy bear and my wife her favorite perfume.
But, it’s more known nowadays as “a day for lovers” rather than a day to celebrate good Christian love. And a day for lovers has come to mean 50 Shades of Grey films and other soft porn offerings.
There are several possible St. Valentine stories. All of them bear witness to the brutality of the Roman Empire in trying to stamp out the early church. They are stories of men who had the strength of their convictions and faith in Christ Jesus to lay down their lives rather than recant of their faith. To use any of these martyrs to sell a pair of undies is just despicable.
So it’s rather appropriate that is falls on Ash Wednesday this year. A day of repentance. A day to remember we will return to dust. It may prick the conscience of a few nominal Christians to see how lukewarm their faith is, this I fervently pray. It will be barely a blip on the larger culture’s radar.
Sisters and Brothers in Christ, let us revive our love, divine love, agape love, pure and holy Love for God and for one another and to witness to a dying world about the Love of Christ and the only Hope of Salvation that is found in Him.
1 Corinthians 16: 13-14
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.
Post script: Our church offers confession either before or after the service of ashes. If yours doesn’t, I urge you to go visit one that does. It’s necessary to experience it, my explanations as to why will all be insufficient. Repent!
Jesus’ first words in Mark’s gospel include the phrase: “Repent and believe the good news!” Repentance is an essential first step of faith for salvation and certainly a necessary part of the on going forgiveness we seek and God grants to the redeemed (see 1 John 1:9).
Good word brother!
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Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.