February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!

Its Valentine's Day today and I received some emails relating to it.

Just wanted to say HELLO...
Hope you're hanging in there okay.
Hope things are good where you are and that work is not too hard on you.
Hope you're taking some time for yourself, too.
Just wanted to say HELLO and send you something on ...Valentine's Day!!


In another email, I was given a link to a "May You Be Blessed" video clip.


Then I was told about the history of Valentine's Day and how it came about... (I'm not sure if it is true)

St Valentine's Day is one of a few global celebrations whose origin has long since been lost in the myth and mist of time. On the face of it, it would appear to be a fairly new celebration, given the Christian naming, however its origin stretches further into the past.

The 14th February started out as a festival rather more given over to sexual pleasures than romantic outpourings. The Romans celebrated this day as the festival of Lupercalia, a celebration of Juno, the Goddess of love. On the day cards would be drawn randomly to partner men and women together for the feast and the sexual games which were an integral part of it. This is most likely the origin of the Valentine's Card - although they don't tend to be given with such hedonistic ideas in mind these days.

When Christianity started to become popular throughout Europe, the devout set about systematically changing all the pagan festival days the Romans had so enjoyed, and replacing them with rather more austere Christian versions.

Naturally, the early church had a rather dim view of people spending the 14th of February indulging in unbridled sexual congress with total strangers, and then stuffing themselves with food and wine, so the devout cast around for a worthy saint to replace poor old Juno.

Enter Saint Valentine aka Valentinus. Rather conveniently, Valentinus had been martyred on 14th February. Unfortunately, Valentinus was known as an extremely chaste and pious man and not even vaguely schooled in the art of love. The church, however, was never one to let facts get in the way of a good ritual so set about inventing a history for Valentinus which would be more in line with their new 'festival of romance'.

So, from being the sort of chap who you'd avoid at all costs at a party, Valentinus was transformed into a romantic worthy of a Byron poem. A myth arose that Valentinus ignored a decree from Emperor Claudius II that there should be no marriage ceremonies and secretly wedding couples until he was caught, imprisoned and sentenced to death. To add even more romance around the history of Valentinus, a story sprang up that, whilst in jail, he cured the jailer's daughter of blindness and soon fell madly in love with each other. Then, on the day of his execution, he sent her a card expressing his love and signing off with "From your Valentine".

Whilst the above story was touching and romantic in its own sense, to me, the greatest expression of love... an unconditional love was shown to me as written by the apostle John "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17)

Also, from the apostle Paul, I know that in Ephesians 1:4-6: "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."

In Paul's letter to the Ephesians, I thank God that He has given me every spiritual blessing in Christ. (To understand more, read Ephesians 1:1-14) God has given me the best gift of love in the person of Jesus Christ, who has died in my place so that I can have a personal relationship with God.

Dear Lord, thank you for loving and saving me. Thank you also for the person who wrote me a poem :)

1 other thoughts:

poet said...

you're welcome :)

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