Valentine's Day: A Day to Honor the Original
Valentines--martyrs with a message
you know, there is more to Valentine's Day than giving candy, cards,
and flowers to your sweat-heart.
The legend of St. Valentine stems from real-life martyrs from the
Roman Empire known as Valentines. It is unsure who was the St.
Valentine; there are at least two candidates: One of them is believed
to have been a Roman priest and physician killed in the third century,
during the persecutions of the Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. After his
death this Valentine was apparently buried in the Roman road Via
Flaminia. Pope Julius I is said to have later built a basilica above
his grave. A second St. Valentine candidate believed to be a bishop of
Teni who was also executed in Rome.
These menís status comes from legends of harboring Christians from
persecution, curing the blindness of a cell keeperís daughter, and
conducting marriages while they were forbidden during times of war. It
is perhaps this last repute that made St. Valentine the patron saint
God's Rules Are Good
a children's sermon based on Deuteronomy 30:15-20
by Rev. Frank Schaefer
props: a can with a warning label (such as bug spray,
paint, oven cleaner) stating something like: "do not swallow" or "keep out of
reach of children" etc.
Good morning my little friends. Today we want to talk about
"God's rules." They're called God's commandments in the bible.
Commandments, or rules, are usually very helpful and good. God
gave us rules so that we can live better lives. They help us. They protect us.
It's like with this spray can. What does it say? (mine is an "Off" bug spray
can). That's right. And what do you use it for? right again, to keep bugs
The can has rules printed on the back. One of them says
something like: "do not spray into eyes."
by Rev. Frank Schaefer
How important is forgiving
our neighbors? Very important, judging by the fact that the
Scriptures, especially the New Testament, are full of references
to forgiving others. But itís not just the number of references,
itís also what it actually says about forgiveness.
Forgiving our neighbors is
contained in the Lord's Prayer: "Forgive our sins as we forgive
those who sinned against us."
What Jesus included in the
Lordís prayer is definitely elementary and very important. It
seems that our willingness to forgive others is a requirement
that we need to meet before God forgives us.
How important is
forgiveness and reconciliation? It's more important than giving
to the Lord according to our gospel lesson from Matthew 5:23-24.
And giving is pretty important.
Listen to what Jesus is
saying: "forget your sacrifices and your tithes, go now and
hurry to reconcile with your brother or sister. It is that
Jesusí message is very
radical. What he is saying here is: donít even think that God
will honor your gifts and sacrifices if you are not willing to
forgive the people close to you. Donít you even think for a
minute that you can be reconciled to God if you arenít willing
to be reconciled to your neighbor or a family member.
Forgiving other is a hard
concept for any of us. We feel that there have to be limits to
our forgiveness. We canít just keep on forgiving people because
if we did, they would walk all over us. Some things that people
do to us or say to us, we feel, are hard to forgive, because the
offense hurt so much it left a scar...
click here for full manuscript and all other sermons and resources
Would you like
to become a subscriber now (US $ 39.95