Our troubled world is most definitely in need of more peace, more love and more understanding. More light in the darkness. More compassion. More patience. More kindness. More standing up to evil. More helping the helpless and disenfranchised. More helping those on the margins of society, who are so often overlooked and ignored.
Love is everything……
Valentine, the priest after whom Valentine’s Day is named, was martyred for his belief and commitment to the institution of marriage.
The emperor of Rome during Valentine’s life, Claudius II, passed a law banning marriages for the young. His reason was simple: men would not volunteer to join the Roman army if they were married, and had children. Valentine kept on officiating at marriage services – but in secret. He would whisper the words of the ceremony, while listening for soldiers on the steps outside his church.
One night, he did indeed hear footsteps. The couple whom he was marrying escaped, but he was caught, arrested, and thrown into prison. He was sentenced to death.
Valentine remained cheerful whilst in prison and many people came to visit him. He even continued to perform marriage ceremonies whilst in prison. He also converted the jailer to Christianity. The jailer’s daughter would often visit Valentine in his cell and they became friends.
On the day Valentine was to be executed, he left this girl a note, thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, “With love from your Valentine”. That note, written on the day Valentine died – February 14th, 270 AD – started the custom of exchanging love notes on St. Valentine’s Day. He was martyred on the eve of the important Roman festival of Lupercalia. It is possible that Valentine’s execution formed part of a series of entertainment activities for the Romans, along with the persecution and punishment of Christians for evangelising Roman citizens, thus drawing them to Jesus Christ and away from the Roman gods of Janus, Saturnis and Solarus.
Valentine was a man of great courage. The theologian Karl Barth wrote: “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” So whether you are young, old, married or single, may you know that you are loved and appreciated and cared for, wherever you are in this big old world.
“For God so loVed the world,
…….That He gAve
…….Believeth In Him
……….Should Not perish,
…….But have Everlasting life.”
May 2017 be a happy and fulfilling year ahead for you, and for all of your loved ones. Best wishes from everyone at Little Room.
The first day of December, looking forward to Christmas Day, and the worldwide celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
The message of Jesus is the same now as it always was. Peace, love, forgiveness, joy and goodwill to all people; a timeless message to our broken and war-weary world. A message of love, wisdom and truth ringing down the ages from over two thousand years ago. We are particularly called to remember the oppressed, the helpless, the cold, the hungry, the outcast, those who mourn the loss of loved ones, the sick, those who are lonely, and the unloved.
May this Advent season be a time of preparation and prayer for the bringing of a bright new dawn of hope, compassion, peace and love throughout the world as we look forward to Christmas and the coming year.
This month we bring you a new release from the archives; a song written by Phil Keaggy and David Clifton, completed and recorded during David’s first writing trip to Nashville. The song “Father Of My Soul” is a meditation inspired by the books of Proverbs and Psalms, and released on iTunes later this month. It’s a simple acoustic ballad, with Phil and David playing and singing together, with minimal overdubs. It is also released in EP format, offering three versions of the song; a full mix featuring overdubs onto the live take, with Phil Keaggy playing bass, electric guitar and percussion. There is also an acoustic and vocal mix, and an instrumental version of the two guitar parts, recorded live at Phil’s studio in Nashville, Tennessee USA.