Instead of a formal essay, I thought I'd just collect some thoughts on love and marriage for this feast day which has evolved into a celebration of human connection.
--The feast day of
Saint Valentine is one of those strange feast days, a feast day that's more
popular in the general culture than it is in the church culture that pays
attention to saints and their days.
--To me, this feast day
is essentially a manufactured holiday, yet another one, designed to make us
feel like we must spend gobs and gobs of money to demonstrate our love.
day, ideally, should be Valentine's Day, a day in which we try to remind our
loved ones how much we care--and not by buying flowers, dinners out, candy, and
jewelry. We show that we love by our actions: our care, our putting
our own needs in the backseat, our concern, our gentle touch, our loving
--It's hard to be a
Christian today, and to avoid the question of whether or not homosexuals should
be able to marry. My favorite conservative columnist, David Brooks, said it
better than I can. In a New York Times
column in 2003, he says, "We shouldn't just allow gay marriage. We should
insist on gay marriage. We should regard it as scandalous that two people could
claim to love each other and not want to sanctify their love with marriage and
--Does your church tradition see marriage as a sacrament? You might be saying, "Sacrament? My church uses no such language. What is a sacrament anyway?" A sacrament is an "outward and
visible sign of an inward and invisible Grace" (as the Anglican Book of Common
Prayer describes a sacrament).
--I think Martin Luther
went too far in deciding that marriage wouldn't be a sacrament in the Lutheran
church. Nothing has ever helped me understand the nature of God's love better
than my marriage, except, perhaps, the love of my parents for me.
--I've often thought
that marriage at its best is sacramental: it demonstrates to me in a way
that few other things can how deeply God loves me. If my spouse's love
for me is but a pale shadow of the way God loves me, then I am rich in love
as we begin the mad rush to Valentine's Day, let us take a moment to remember
the gift of being able to love each other. Let us remember God, who first
loved us, and who will love us long after all other love falls away.
feeling the feelings…
10 months ago