For the majority of Americans February 14 — Valentine’s Day — is a day to express our love, friendship or appreciation for someone special. It’s a celebration of love.
Valentine’s Day is not a religious holiday. Yet Christians know that there could be no celebration of love in the absence of God — who makes all love possible.
There are those who believe it’s wrong for Christians to celebrate Valentine’s Day. They point to its possible origins in pagan traditions at the end of the fifth century. Although I respect Christians who believe differently than I for following their convictions, I celebrate Valentine’s Day with a clear conscience.
When Jesus was asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?,” “Jesus replied, ‘The one that says, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only God. And you must love him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.’ “The second is: ‘You must love others as much as yourself.’ No other commandments are greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
Any day that brings people closer together and encourages them to express their love or appreciation for someone special is all right by me. Any day that celebrates love or appreciation for others is a welcome addition to my calendar.
I look forward to Valentine’s Day. I enjoy the opportunity to remind my family and friends how much I love them — and how grateful I am for having them in my life. But it isn’t valentines, gifts, or celebrations that make me feel loved or make any day special. It is the love that God has for us, without which we would have no love at all.