There was a real man named Valentine
The name Valentine's Day and the sentiment "be my Valentine" can have a significant meaning to us. But are there pagan origins to this "holiday," and how do you handle it?
Valentine was a hero.
The man referred to as Saint Valentine was a roman priest, but this was before the time of Constantine and his reign as head of church and state. I just want to make that distinction for you.
The current emperor, Claudias, was being quite mean to the lovebirds of that time. He prohibited young men to marry because it might soften up their Roman fighter instincts.
Valentine did not conform. He carried out the Biblical mandate for people to marry. He performed weddings for people and he got caught.
He eventually suffered great torture and death for his testimony. Before such fate, he was reported to have prayed for a man's daughter and she was healed of blindness. While in prison he passed a note for her through her father that was signed, "from your Valentine."
When we first came into the Jewish world of our Biblical faith, we were astonished at how many cultural celebrations, and church holidays were founded in a pagan (nations) origin. False deities, timing, rituals, so many aspects were from the pagan playbook.
But, there is much to learn from a telling of Valentine and his commitment. Each family follows as they feel led by His Ruach (breath). We have softened up on some silly things like sending a card to express a true love and concern. But we do draw lines.
Cupid is an abomination. We, as a family have nothing to do with that. No images of it come into the house. I don't dress up in a diaper and shoot nerf arrows around saying, "Ho Ho Ho. Happy Valentines Day." But we scribble out notes to each other these days.
And I sprint to Walgreens the next day for 50% off candy. Yumm. Necco hearts.
The time of the year is a problem as it is with Christmas. Many people have pointed that the time in February (named after a pagan deity). I understand that. We are not compelled to "celebrate" and even acknowledge the month itself. But if you have a driver's license and pay bills and such, you work off that calendar. We just don't glorify it. We know that we are under God's calendar.
A better love story
We can all look at the story of the martyr for God's love and learn from it. That is what we do. Soon we will celebrate another hero who risked her life to save an entire kingdom. We are not Biblically instructed to observe Purim, but we see the actual celebration of such described in scripture.
The feast of Purim is actually the closest resemblance to modern Christmas that you will see in the Bible. After God's people were saved, they shared gifts and celebrated.
Purim is on the popular calendar as March (named for a pagan deity, I know) 21st. We would love for you to join us in a night of reading through Esther and feasting. There will be treats and games as well. We celebrate to honor God's grace and His saving power. If you have never studied Esther and the celebration of that great miracle, I urge you to do so and rejoice. Stay tuned to this blog and you will see an invitation to celebrate with One In Messiah.
Who is your favorite Bible Hero Girl?