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Lent is almost here!
I don't remember Lent and Valentine's Day intersecting before in my lifetime, but I can't think of a more beautiful convergence. What greater demonstration of love has there ever been than Jesus giving his life for our sins so that we might live in his love?
Lent begins on Valentine's Day, a holiday with roots traced to the life and death of a 3rd century Roman priest named Valentinus. Tradition tells of how he was known to secretly wed Christian lovers who were forbidden to marry by the Roman government. When he was caught and arrested, the emperor Claudius II took a liking to him, but apparently at some point when Valentinus tried to share the gospel with him, he was condemned to death. One account suggests that he healed the daughter of Claudius of blindness before he died and wrote her a note, signing it from your Valentine. Valentinus was beaten, stoned and finally beheaded for his faith.
This man who unwittingly gave us the holiday of hearts and love, followed in the footsteps of our Savior whose suffering we ponder through the season of Lent. To that end, I invite you to go with me on a lectio divina journey with Jesus through his final hours. I cannot fathom a more powerful way to learn to live in the love for which we were created. Join me in Living Loved through Lent--see how below.
Tricia McCary Rhodes
Author of 7 books and pastor of Global Leadership Development at All Peoples Church in San Diego, Tricia specializes in helping others experience God’s presence through practicing soul-care.