Church history claims that a Christian priest named Valentine lived in Rome in the 3rd century AD. When the emperor decided that single men were better for the army than married ones he outlawed marriage for many. In defiance of the order, and in the name of love, Valentine the priest continued to perform marriages in secret until it was discovered, and he was thrown into prison and finally martyred. He truly died for love.
But isn’t all love a small death? When we live the love of 1st Corinthians 13 we give a little of ourselves up for someone else - in a way, we die. We are patient and kind when the person doesn’t deserve it. We choose to not keep track of wrongs but rather commit to forgiveness even like Jesus told Peter, “forgive up to 70x7.” The love of Jesus called us to a love that doesn’t look for what it can get but what it can give: even to the point of dying for us, his enemies, on the cross.
So may this Valentine’s Day be a chance to give gifts to the ones you love. But more so, may it be a day to remember the name of love: Jesus. And in that name may we fill the little corner of our world with love, in His name, even when it costs.
Yours in Christ,