Yes, yes. I know. I can just hear the cries now, "But PASTOR, It's Valentine's Day! How can you speak about suffering?!"
I confess: I realized this when putting this series together. And I went ahead with it anyway. Why? Because romantic love is not universal in all our lives at all times, but suffering is. And I'll also confess a bit of push back on my part against a "Hallmark Holiday," with the advent of the first mass produced Valentine's Day card in the 1840s.
While there are both Christian and pagan roots to this holiday going back to around the time of the founding of the Church, the day was named for St. Valentine or Valentinus who reportedly was martyred by Roman Emperor Claudius II.
We find in the roots of Valentine's Day the strange interweaving of love and suffering, which we'll explore together in light of Jesus Among Other Gods this Sunday. Come join in for a very different celebration of love.