Big Springs Community Church held its annual Valentine’s Day Dinner Fellowship yesterday. It was a joyous time of fellowship, with many seeing friends for the first time after many years. The program was short and simple, with only a couple of games, a short video, and a short meditation. Most of the time was taken up by the delicious, tender, juicy prime rib dinner prepared by Ken Joling and the kitchen crew. John and Marilyn Pitzer played love songs on the piano, dulcimer, and autoharp.
For a photo album of this event, click this Facebook page.
At dinner, we did a “Name That Song” game. I selected 10 songs from every decade from the 40s to the 2010s. The audience have to name the title, artist, and decade of release. No Christian song, all secular, but I selected those with words that are not offensive to Christians. All of the songs were in the Billboard Top 100 during their year of release. Here are the songs in no particular order:
|1||(Everything I Do) I Do It for You||Bryan Adams||1991|
|2||Hawaiian Wedding Song||Andy Williams||1959|
|3||Just the Way You Are||Bruno Mars||2010|
|4||Love Me Tender||Elvis Presley||1956|
|5||Love Story||Taylor Swift||2008|
|6||Love Will Keep us Together||Captain & Tennille||1975|
|7||Moonlight Serenade||Glenn Miller Band||1939|
|8||Secret Love||Doris Day||1953|
|9||Through the Years||Kenny Rogers||1982|
|10||Till There Was You||Beatles||1963|
So I thought I should relate the short meditation to the video and the songs. I first talked about the history of three Valentines in church history: Valentinus of Terni, martyred around A.D. 197; Valentinus of Rome, martyred about A.D. 269, and Valentinus of Genoa, Italy. Afterwards, here was the main part of the meditation:
But what’s important to know is that one of God’s attributes is his perfect love. Because he made human beings in his own image, he also has put love into the human heart. And so we love our sweethearts, our families, our friends, and our brothers and sisters in the church, only because God has given us this love in our hearts.
His love for his creation translated into sending his Beloved Son Jesus Christ into the world on a mission to save his own people from their sins. So when he came into the world, everything Jesus did, he did it for his Father in heaven and for the people he loved. God’s love for his people scattered in all the nations was kept secret or hidden in past ages was revealed to the world by Christ. He revealed this love story of God for his people, not through “moonlight serenades,” flowers, or Valentine’s dinners, but through dying on the cross for the sins of his people.
So now, God invites all men and women everywhere to come to Christ in faith. He calls everyone to confess their sins of not loving God with all their heart, soul and mind, and not loving their neighbor as their own selves. Though he will not reject even the most evil offenders, we cannot come to him just the way we are, because we are dirty sinners before his eyes. We are to come to him in faith and with repentant hearts. He died for those who believe, not because, they are worth dyin’ for, but because of God’s eternal love for them. Christ gave it all and sacrificed his own life because of his love for them.
God’s promise is through the years, he will ever love you, never leave you nor forsake you in your sufferings and difficulties in this world. And when our life in this world is over, this love story of God’s love for you will be consummated. There will be a wedding, not in Hawaii, not in Big Springs, but in heaven itself. And our wedding song will be,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready.”
From that day on, God’s love will keep us together with him forever and ever. Amen.