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6th Sunday after Epiphany
More Valentine's Day Resources
 

Texts & Discussion:
 

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 119:1-8 
1 Corinthians 3:1-9 
Matthew 5:21-37 

 

This Week's Themes:

God Promises Blessings
Spiritual Growth
Jesus' Holiness Code


 

 

  

Valentine's Day: A Day to Honor the Original Valentines--martyrs with a message

As 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 of lovers.

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Children's Messages:


Excerpt:

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 away.

The can has rules printed on the back. One of them says something like: "do not spray into eyes." 

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Sermons
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Valentine's Day:

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Sermon Excerpt:

Why Forgive?
Matthew 5:23-24
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 important!"
 
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...

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