any of you tell me what we celebrate on February 14th? That’s right,
Valentine’s Day. If a person is your
Valentine that means they are the one you love the best! Now,
can anyone tell me how Valentine’s Day
There was a priest by the name of Valentine. He lived in Rome
about 250 AD. That was a long, long, time ago! At that time, Rome
was ruled by an emperor by the name of Claudius. Some people
called him Claudius the Cruel. St. Valentine didn't like Emperor
Claudius, and he wasn't the only one! A lot of people felt the
same way. Claudius wanted a big army. He thought men
should volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in
wars. They did not want to leave their wives and girlfriends.
So, not many men signed up to fight. This made Claudius mad.
So do you know what he did? He had a crazy idea that if men were not
married, they would not mind joining his army. So Claudius
decided not to allow any more marriages.
Young people thought his new law was really cruel. Valentine thought
it was ridiculous! Because, one of his favorite jobs as a priest was to
Well, after Emperor Claudius passed his law, Valentine secretly
marriage ceremonies. He
would whisper the words of the ceremony, while listening for soldiers
on the steps outside. One night, he did hear footsteps.
The couple he was marrying escaped, but he was caught. He was
thrown in jail and told that his punishment was death. Valentine tried to stay cheerful. And do you know what happened?
Many young people came to the jail to visit him. They threw
flowers and notes up to his window. They wanted him to know that
they, too, believed in love. One of these young people was the
daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit
him in his cell. They often sat and talked for hours. She
believed he did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and performing
marriage ceremonies. On the day he was to die, he left her a
note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it,
"Love from your Valentine."
That note started the custom of exchanging love notes on Valentine's
Day. It was written on the day he
died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people
remember Valentine, who became known as "Saint Valentine." But most importantly, they
think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor
Claudius, they remember how he tried to
stand in the way of love, and they laugh -- because they know that
love can't be beaten!
Love is very important. The
Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8), and 1 John 3:18
children, our love should not be only
words and talk. Our love must be true love. And we should show that
love by what we do." (GNT).
showed His love for us before we were even born. John 3 verse 16
tells us, that God loved the world so much that he gave his
only Son. God gave his Son so that whoever believes in him may not be
lost, but have eternal life. He sent His only son to be tortured to
death so we could live in heaven with Him
forever. He did this for everyone, before we were even
born. Our words have to match our actions if we really mean them.
Romans 5 verse 8 tells us that Christ died for us while we
were still sinners. In this way God shows his great love for us. But
how do we show our love for Him? The Bible tells us lots of ways
we can show God our love, since he has first loved us. When we listen
carefully to what the Bible tells us, we learn that we can love God
best by loving other people. This is something that Pastor __________
often says when preaching the sermon to the whole congregation. Do you
think the people in our congregation agree when they hear the pastor
say that we need to show our love to God by loving other people? (Let
them answer.) I do too. I think everybody here agrees with that.
Sometimes they say, "That was a good sermon. You are exactly right. We really do need to
treat other people with love."
let me ask you a question. Suppose we had a sermon today about how we
should show our love for God by loving others. Then, at the end of
the sermon, the pastor asked all the people in the congregation who agreed with what he said to hold up their hands. Sort of a vote to see
who agreed with what he said in the sermon. And suppose every single hand went up. That would make the
pastor feel good. For one thing, it would tell him that the people had all been listening. And, it would
tell him that people were agreeing with what the Bible says, because they are voting in favor of those ideas.
But then suppose that everyone got up and walked out without shaking
hands or smiling or anything. And then they all got in their
cars and drove off snarling and shaking their fists at each other as
they left the parking lot. What would you think of that? (Receive
Well, it might mean that everyone had forgotten his or her
manners at once. But I doubt it. That would tell me that everybody was willing to talk about loving
others, but not ready to do anything about it. To do something about
it, we need to treat others the way the Bible tells us we should.
It means to go out in our daily lives and treat people the way we want
to be treated, with love. We know God loves us from the way He
treated us from the very beginning.
St. Valentine backed up his belief with
action, even though he knew he
could die for doing it. Let us also show God how much we
love Him, by loving others.
Let's pray. Thank you God for letting me be your