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St. Mark's and Immanuel Lutheran Church

920.382-7647
    
St.Marks:N1210 Rich Rd.
Immanuel:W7082 Pearl St.

Watertown, WI  53098

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The dedication of Valentine

     
        The story of Valentine is not widely
known among Lutherans.  Valentine was a priest in 3rd century Rome.  He lived at a time of Christian persecution.  Emperor Claudius mandated worship only of the gods of the Council of 12.  This made worship of the Triune God illegal.  It was even criminal to associate with Christians.  Yet, Valentine’s dedication to Christ did not waiver.  Eventually, he was arrested and imprisoned for performing the marriage ceremonies of Christian couples.  While imprisoned, Valentine taught the blind daughter of one of his guards.  In particular, he taught her about God.  From his cell, he wrote her letters—perhaps the earliest form of Valentine’s cards.  Eventually, the Holy Spirit led this girl to faith in Jesus.  On the night before his execution, Valentine wrote one last note to his young student.  He urged her to remain faithful to God.  He signed it, “From your Valentine.”  His death sentence was carried out the following day, February 14, circa 270 AD.  Legend says that the girl planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave.  Today, the almond tree symbolizes love and friendship.  On February 14, messages of affection, love, and devotion flood the world.  It is ironic that Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday—two days that appear to be opposites—are often close to one another on the calendar.   The former reminds us of a human’s dedication to the Christian faith.  The latter marks the road on which our Savior began his journey to the cross.  However, it would not be wholly incorrect to see the origin of Valentine’s Day in Christ’s love.  During Lent, we hear an unparalleled love story transcending human love.  It is the account of Christ’s great love for us.  It is a love that led him to suffer and die for our sins.  Through faith in him alone, we have the assurance of forgiveness and eternal life in heaven .Our Savior says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:12-13).Thank God for the greatest love of all—Christ’s love—that led the one and only Son of God to live and die for sinners.
                                                                            Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High.
                                                                               Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

 

 
 


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