“Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.
To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. [history.com]
When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270.”
“One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, who’s daughter was blind. [Valentine]…prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result.”
In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter. He inspired today’s romantic missives by signing it, “from your Valentine.” [cbn.com]
Valentine’s Day-St. Valentine’s Day…everyone has a different reaction to it. A lot of people like to peg it as “just another day,” staking “everyday as Valentine’s Day!” Some people mope and pine over what should be or what could have been and what is not yet or not ever. Others grow bitter towards the Day of Romance, dismissing it as anything other than a commercially exploited Thursday.
I enjoy Valentine’s Day. I’ve never had a Valentine, but it fills me with hope and anticipation and excitement about who my first Valentine will be! It will be a big day in my household.
But what about the story behind the bouquets and chocolates?
Valentine’s Day is marked by a foundation of mission and miracles! The very first Valentine was read by a little girl that was healed of blindness through prayer. The Day is a marker to remember a saint’s dedication to preserving marriage within the church. How have we let something so sacred become so cheapened?
This is a holiday marked by mission and miracles.
So, whether you are enjoying the gaze of your Dear One, or “sacredly single,” remember this Valentine’s Day: You were made for mission. You were created to accomplish wonderful, dangerous things.
So, take that, Gary Thomas, maybe next year for Valentine’s Day, instead of learning how to live more contentedly single, someone will teach us how to live more radically faithful.
The truth is: Contentment is not synonymous with comfortability. To be satisfied in Christ does not mean your life will be easy or free for discomfort. It means dying to yourself, letting your surface be scratched and your mirror to be broken. It means saying goodbye to your outlined life and saying hello to Your God’s Dreams.
I think God is much more concerned with our pursuit of righteousness and justice than our ability to catch a mate. What’s the point of sitting through a conference that will tell you how to hang in there until your husband/wife comes if you are not using the time that you do have pursuing the things of Jesus?
And, I pray that you, my dear and lovely One-Day-Valentine, are not pining over your sorrowful single status, but rather living as a radical Son, pursuing justice, and running into dangerous and wild things for the sake of the gospel of Christ.