Happy Valentine’s Day! To me, Valentines is a fun, minor holiday, but not a very big deal. I just found out that, at least by the numbers, I’m wrong. According to USA Today, men spend an average of $169 and women average $86. In other words, it’s the most expensive holiday besides Christmas.
I’m really not sure what to do with that information, but I was so shocked I had to share it. I’m guessing these numbers are drastically inflated by those who drop several hundred on diamond earrings for their sweethearts.
Anyway, if you’re still curious as to “how did this tradition start?” (I’m using my best Tevye voice here) “I’ll tell you. I don’t know. But it’s a tradition.”
One story goes that Valentine, a priest in Rome, was imprisoned for his faith sometime around the third century. The day before he was executed, legend says that he sent a love letter to the daughter of his jailer, signing it “your Valentine.”
Today’s verse is from 1 John. I hope you can hear the complete astonishment as John tells us a little about God’s love.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
1 John 3:1a
P.S. If you were hoping for something less traditional for February 14, you could always respond to those “Happy Valentine’s Day” greetings with a cheerful “And a happy Ferris Wheel Day to you too!” Mr. George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. was born on this day in 1859, and later went on to invent the ferris wheel. If it weren’t below freezing, that could be quite a romantic date for today too!