Roses are red, violets are blue . . .

“Roses are red, violets are blue . . .” are the words that begin a variety of love poems.  I’m reminded of them as we approach the celebration of Valentine’s Day, a time of expressing our romantic impulses to those we love.  Flowers and cards will be sent, chocolates and jewelry given.  Restaurants will be full of lovers having an intimate meal.  All of this will be done in the name of a 4th century priest who was martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ.  To be sure, there will be very few who will make this association.  Instead the Valentine’s Day celebration will be a time of love and romance without any reference to Christ and the church.

That’s the way it is with many of our holidays.  They began at a time for honoring a person or remembering a specific event in history. Then, over time they become something else.  They take on a life of their own as the cultural influences of the current time take over and the meanings of the past become distant memory. This is the way of things, and none of us are immune to it. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Valentine’s Day as much as anyone.  I like it that we set aside a day for romance.  I believe the world is a much better place because of it.  But I also believe that understanding where these holidays and traditions come from is equally important.  That’s what makes attending church so important.  It’s in church that we carry on the traditions of our faith.  It’s where we teach them to others.  It’s where we proclaim our love for God, and where we receive the love of God through our worship and fellowship with other believers.

So, this year as you celebrate Valentine’s Day, be sure to express your love to each other, and take time to thank God for the gift of love given to us all.

Pastor Paul