Christians can share Valentine's Day messages

Saturday, February 7, 2004

A long time ago in a country far away, an innocent man died. Feb. 14, 270 A.D., a bishop of the Church was put to death for being too good.

The bishop was known for his good deeds, his acts of kindness, his caring of the helpless and homeless. He was encouraging other people to be advocates for the weak and outcast.

The government regarded this man as a threat for what it stood for: favors for the rich and little for the poor; millions spent on military defense and pennies spent to feed the hungry and provide jobs for those out of work; a condoning of corruption throughout the social system.

Because he refused to rubber-stamp the government's practices, this good man was put in prison; he was not politically correct!

While in prison, the bishop was able to smuggle messages out to his many friends and supporters. The people he had helped were concerned about his safety. And even though he was a prisoner, he continued to care about the people God had entrusted to his care. At great risk, this good man sent notes to his friends: "Don't be afraid. Keep the faith. God loves you and I love you!" your Valentine!

Feb. 14, 2004. Little has changed. Good people are still a threat to a self-centered society that uses threats and violence to silence all that is good. A person who actually lives the Christian lifestyle is termed a do-gooder, is laughed at for being too old-fashioned, and ignored as being a relic from the past. Corruption seems to be the norm. Lying, cheating and unfaithfulness are being practiced by many. Violence and killing have become the normal way to settle differences. Only a fool would believe that goodness will overcome evil, that light will triumph over darkness.

Feb. 14 is Valentine's Day. We send cards and flowers and candy to tell people we love them and care about them.

More importantly, God sends us valentines!

Croci and tulips pushing up through the frozen ground remind us that God has not forgotten us! A blanket of beautiful snow speaks to us of God's comforting care. A cross gleaming in the winter sunlight speaks to us of God's on-going love for us. Each sunrise reminds us that the light still shines, and the darkness has never been able to put it out!

Valentine's Day is our way of saying that, in a world of darkness and destruction, goodness and love will prevail!

Dr. Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist minister living in Jackson.

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