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              During this week, we often celebrate love. Particularly, we have made this celebration central to romance. However, it goes much deeper than the love we have for our significant other. It is said that Valentine was a man who worked to assist those who were being persecuted and martyred for their belief. He was eventually arrested for supporting the persecuted Christians. On the day Valentine was to be killed, an 18th century document suggests that he left a young niece a note of sacrifice and gratitude that was signed “Your Valentine”. In celebration of the day, love has become the central theme.

              Paul often speaks of the love for one another. He states, “Love is Patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, ESV). Likewise Paul states, “Let love be genuine, abhor was is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:9-21, ESV).

                 The expectation or Christian command which Paul speaks of, is that all Christians should deal with another in humility and love. On the day that was originally used to celebrate the genuine self-sacrifice to assist those in low positions, may we always be reminded that as Christians, we are often the only experience of God’s perfect, and unfailing (steadfast) love which many in our society will see and experience. We are to sacrfice ourselves for the betterment of another. May Yahweh, our God, bless you as you serve him fully by loving others this week.