For Scripture Sunday”:
“What Would Jesus Do?” Would Jesus Do Valentine’s?
“A few years ago the acronym WWJD became really popular—it stands for “What Would Jesus Do?”
So here’s a question for this time of the year: Would Jesus do Valentine’s?
Well, why not? one could argue. It’s all about love, romance and showing sweetness to someone special. Sounds like the kind of thing Jesus is all about!
But think about this for a minute: The only reason we have Valentine’s Day today is because someone started it somewhere. We can’t simply put Jesus in our context today and ask if He would be celebrating Valentine’s, without first asking would He have celebrated it when it first became popularized.
So let’s rewind history just a bit. Going way back, centuries before Jesus, the Romans had a big, three-day long religious celebration—a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. Faunus was the Roman equivalent to the Greek god Pan. He was also associated with the god Lupercus, from which this festival got the name Lupercalia, which was celebrated between the 13th and 15th of February.
All the lore surrounding the goings-on of this festival is a little murky. Some say that after the sacrifices and rituals to pray for the gods’ blessings for fertility, the bachelors would draw from an urn the names of young women, and they would be paired with them for a year, maybe longer if the relationship worked out. Others debate that, but we do know enough to conclude that, well, let’s just say that the pagans knew how to mix a lot of illicit sex into their religious celebrations.
So skip ahead a few hundred years and—I’ll just quote from a National Public Radio report—“Pope Gelasius I muddled things in the 5th century by combining St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia to expel the pagan rituals.” Knowing how popular it was with the masses, though, he said, we’ll still have something on Feb. 14, but we’ll honor Saint Valentine, a fellow Catholic legend says was martyred. As NPR says, “The festival was more of a theatrical interpretation of what it had once been. Lenski adds, ‘It was a little more of a drunken revel, but the Christians put clothes back on it. That didn’t stop it from being a day of fertility and love.’”
The AmericanCatholic.org website says Gelasius “changed the lottery to have both young men and women draw the names of saints whom they would then emulate for the year (a change that no doubt disappointed a few young men). Instead of Lupercus, the patron of the feast became Valentine.
For Roman men, the day continued to be an occasion to seek the affections of women, and it became a tradition to give out handwritten messages of admiration that included Valentine’s name.”
And let’s not forget about Cupid—where did he come from? Well, in Roman mythology Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. He himself is the god of raw desire, erotic love and attraction; and he was worshipped because he could cause people to fall in love by shooting them with his love-potion arrows. So, that cute little cherub on your greeting card?—a Roman god.
So would Jesus have done Valentine’s Day when it first appeared on the scene in modern Christianity? Would He have said, “Hey, I don’t have any problem with you borrowing a little religion here and there from the pagans. Want to weave their idols and gods into My religion? Go for it. Don’t worry about that silly commandment about idolatry and no other gods before Me. My God, Roman gods—no big deal.”
“Valentine’s and WWJD”—what would Jesus do? That’s pretty clear. The real question is “Valentine’s and WWYD”—what will you do?” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/speaking-of/would-jesus-do-valentines/
3 Romantic Alternatives to Valentine’s Day
“As Valentine’s Day draws near, many will celebrate romantic love. But what about true love? Here are three ways to escape the superficiality of Valentine’s Day.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, millions of people have already made plans for romantic getaways, ordered flowers or chocolates and started writing valentines. For the holiday that is supposed to epitomize romantic love, it is very materially based and commercialized.
Can a married couple express true love in better ways than heart-shaped chocolates and bland, poorly worded cards? You bet!
Origins of Valentine’s Day
Where does real romance that is related to true love come from? A solid, healthy relationship. The old adage of “we could talk for hours” should still be one of the most romantic things to us.Before we discuss the meaningful alternatives to Valentine’s Day, consider why we should seek alternatives in the first place. Valentine’s Day is based on a very bizarre, ancient fertility festival called the Lupercalia. This festival was celebrated in mid-February in ancient Rome. The ancient Romans would sacrifice an animal on the Lupercalia and then use the hides to whip females in order to supposedly increase their fertility.
Another component of the festival was matchmaking. Males and females would be paired up at Lupercalia by a lottery and then would remain partners for either the duration of the festival or for a year.
The Roman church later replaced the Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day in honor of a martyr named Valentine. But the popular celebration maintained the romantic and sensual elements of the pagan festival.
The fact that Cupid, a Roman god of love, is associated with this day is even more proof of its deep roots in ancient Roman paganism.
Marriage is a beautiful institution created by God, and there are much better ways to build and celebrate it than a celebration like Valentine’s Day!
Here are a few ideas to celebrate your love for your spouse—without doing it on Valentine’s Day!
1. Get romantic at unexpected times.”
When the back seats where taken out of my van, we covered the rear of the van and the seat tracks with a piece of carpet which we cut to fit. It had become grubby, so Zack and I took it out and shampooed it, and gave the van a good vacuum. On Tuesday I went with another neighbor, Hans, to the Y and did yoga and senior exercises again. Yoga doesn’t look strenuous, but you know you have done it!
Another day, Zack and I sanded down a table top and a few other things, we didn’t get them finished though. On Friday, Jay came to work and we put some of the siding on the outside wall of the mini-house which is inside the attached greenhouse. We have had several nights when it went below freezing, so I am glad that I could put my potted aloe vera plants in there. For the several hundred aloe plants that are planted outside we tried something new this year, we covered them with the endless supply of pine needles instead of cloths. So far they have fared well.
Then we had another old spell. I didn’t make anything for the church potluck this week as something went wrong with my oven and also I just couldn’t get warm. On Friday, it was fine while I was working outside, but when I came back indoors I just felt like I was freezing. A hot shower and an electric blanket fixed that. My temperature is always below normal, so I really feel the cold, that is why I left England and Washington State.
Then, my desktop computer went crazy and so I had to drag out this laptop. I don’t like the wide narrow screen so you have to scroll all the time. I can see a whole page on my desktop’s monitor. My van is fixed, but now the oven and computer don’t work. It’s always something.
The Bible readings where Gen. 43:15-44:17. Jer. 42:12-17, 43:12-13, Mat. 6:19-24 and all of Mat. 5. The Teaching was about “Messiah, Our Advocate.” It was so cold that I was wearing two jackets and three warm shirts to make it through the day.