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St Paul's And Holy Cross

19th of February 2006

February can be one of those months when it is just nice to be indoors and warm as much as possible, waiting for the lighter and warmer days of Spring. There is not much in the calendar for festivity, except of course, Valentine’s Day: a day for “young love” – and “long-lived faithful enriching love” as well – why not?

I am not sure how St. Valentine became associated with romantic love. Little is known of him except that he was martyred in Rome for his Christian faith in about AD 269, under the pagan emperor, Claudius.

For Christians, the day is meant to mark an acknowledgement of an all-loving God who enriches those who love one another as Jesus commanded: “love one another as I have loved you”. This is nothing to do with that romantic love with which today’s Valentine’s day is associated. Rather it is that utter self-giving love, sacrificial in nature which works for God’s best for the other.

To give of oneself in such a fashion, as Jesus perfectly did, requires true godly wisdom: a wisdom that does not pander to human desire but truly understands and so works for God’s best. This sort of wisdom only comes through genuine humility before the throne of God. Christ like love always involves sacrifice and compassion, and can involve itself in gracious discipline!

So over these cold winter days, not just round St. Valentine’s day, how about asking God to show you how with His wisdom you could be an agent of His understanding and practical love…

to that despised and lonely colleague at work;

to a lonely neighbour, who might just be missing the love of their life through bereavement;

to a hurting family member;

to, well – whoever God seems to prompt you.

And please don’t forget to do something special for the romantic love of your life, whether that is new or thirty, forty, fifty years down the line!

With my greetings Jim Stevens

This page is edited by Tony

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