Greetings Rock Church Amesbury peeps! I’m coming to you a day early this week to bring a special Valentine's Day focused blog. I know some of you may now be sighing heavily, or getting ready to hit the “delete” button, but unlike most of what you'll see around Valentine's Day, this message isn't fueled by Hallmark cards, chocolates or cute little stuffed animals. However, I do want to talk about LOVE, but perhaps not in the way we generally do on Valentine’s Day.
The stories of St. Valentine's life are inconsistent, but most agree on some basic facts. He was a Roman priest during a time when the church was under persecution. St. Valentine was arrested and imprisoned multiple times for sharing the truth of Jesus Christ and trying to convert people to Christianity. In fact, he even wrote letters from prison to spread this message and encourage others to follow Jesus. Some accounts tell that St. Valentine was last imprisoned for performing Christian marriages for couples, which was illegal at the time. This is how St. Valentine became associated with lovebirds. And interestingly, the day we celebrate Valentine’s Day was the day St. Valentine was martyered - February 14th. Seems a little ironic, huh?
Please don’t think I’m a “Valentine’s Day Grinch.” I don't think there is anything wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day. Finding the one for whom your heart was purposed by God is certainly something to celebrate! But I believe that St. Valentine was about something so far beyond the love that one person can have for another, that we miss the whole point of Valentine's Day when we reduce it to just that. St. Valentine was passionate about spreading word of the unconditional, unapologetic love God has for each one of us that, in turn, allows us to be capable of love for one another.
According to Colossians 3:14, it is this love that is able to bind us together in unity. Unity - what a beautiful concept in a world and a time when being a people of one mind, one heart, bound together by love is a very rare find. So this year as you celebrate Valentine's Day, with or without a sweetheart by your side, let us remember to celebrate the love of Christ which is capable of binding us together like nothing else - for His glory and our good!
Continuing on our Valentine’s Day theme, we are planning a Valentine’s outreach this Saturday. Our current plan is to give out some homemade treats in the afternoon in and around Amesbury to passers-by, people working at the downtown shops, APD and AFD, etc. We may also try to get over to Haverhill around the GAR park area and hand out treats, hats, gloves, etc. This works out perfectly, because you can come for our work party ahead of time, and just stick around and hang out downtown with us, spreading the love! If you’re interested in coming with us on Saturday, or baking and packaging some homemade treats for us to give out, please text, email, call or PM me on Facebook to let me know. Let’s get out and start a LOVE REVOLUTION in Amesbury and beyond! (Did you ever notice that the word “revolution” contains the word LOVE backwards?)
As I mentioned before, the trustees will also be holding another work party this Saturday starting at 8am to continue to work on projects throughout the building. It would be great to have everyone in the morning to get started early, but this is an open time so you are welcome to show up whenever you are able. We are hoping to have all projects wrapping up by early afternoon when we kick off our outreach activities so the more hands, the lighter the work! If you have any questions about the trustee’s work party, please contact Mike Haggstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I do every week, I am looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday and sharing the love of Christ IN UNITY. I’m sure as we continue to study the Book of James this week, God will have something special in store for us. These are indeed exciting times!
Blessings on your Valentine’s Day and throughout your entire week!
In His love,