Summary: here’s a sermon to preach on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day. It deals with how we should love God and love others. The story of how Valentine’s Day got started is included.
How Christians Should Celebrate Valentine’s Day
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
9For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
10But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Thursday is Valentine’s Day.
For those who aren’t aware f it…
Brother Gene has a tradition for the special days in a year.
So this Thursday Gene will take his wife Evalyn to Wal-Mart…
they will stand together in the Greeting cards section
and Gene will read the Valentine Cards to her.
Now, that seems to work fine for Gene…
But I doubt that many men could get away with that.
I asked Pat what she wanted for Valentine’s Day…
And she said “nothing”.
I suppose I’ll find out Friday if she was telling the truth!
Have you ever wondered how Valentine’s Day got started?
Here’s the story:
Approximately 250 years after Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there was a priest by the name of Valentine. He lived in Rome. At that time, Claudius was the Emperor of Rome. Some people called him Claudius the Cruel. St. Valentine didn’t like Emperor Claudius, and he wasn’t the only one! Many people felt the same way. Claudius wanted a big army. He thought men should volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to leave home and go off to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their girlfriends and wives. So, not many men volunteered for the Roman army. This made Emperor Claudius very angry. He had a crazy idea that if men were not married, they would be more inclined to join his army. So Claudius decreed that there would be no more marriages. Young people thought his new law was really cruel. Valentine thought it was ridiculous! One of his favorite duties as a priest was to marry people. After Emperor Claudius passed his law, Valentine kept on performing marriage ceremonies – but secretly. He would whisper the words of the ceremony, while listening for soldiers on the steps outside.
We’ll get more of the St. Valentine story a little later!
The title of today’s sermon is:
“How Christians Should Celebrate Valentine’s Day”.
Stand up for the truth and proclaim the Gospel of God’s love
9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O LORD, You Yourself know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.
Sometimes it is dangerous
to stand up against injustice, hatred, and prejudice.
Sometimes it is difficult to oppose the world’s view of things.
Sometimes it’s difficult to proclaim the truth of God’s Love.
But that is what St. Valentine did!
And that is what we are called to do!
1 Cor. 1:18 says:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing…
So we can expect opposition from the unsaved!
Our message is foolishness to them!
It’s not always going to be easy to stand up for Jesus!
It won’t always be easy to tell of His love!
But that doesn’t give us an excuse for remaining silent!
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Paul explains how boldness to proclaim the truth comes to us.
Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
It was Holy Spirit power and agape love for Jesus
that transformed a band of scared disciples
on the day Jesus was crucified
into a bold team of Gospel proclaimers.
According to tradition,
all of Jesus’ disciples except John
died horrible deaths rather than deny their Lord.
They all went out under dangerous conditions…
to spread the Gospel.
Paul wrote a letter of encouragement to Timothy.