Broken Arrow…..I say again, Broken Arrow……

Posted: February 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

dead-cupid\

“Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts…”

The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Co 14:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Today, we celebrate Valentine’s Day……a contrived and commericalizedly sad comedy of the greatest of gifts we have been given that separate us from the rest of God’s creation…..the ability to love someone above and beyond ourselves.  But, we candize and flowerize and merchandize the heck out of our outward promotion of it, as if to say…”See, I’m not alone.  I can love.”  And, for the other 364 days of the year, we forget the promises we make this day.

Some of us, that is.  Some express this love so often and so much that those who don’t want to trivalize it….while seething with jealousy (or is it sadness?).  Some view Valentine’s day as just another opportunity among 364 others to show their love…..and some think that love is merely a biological function and today….well, today they’ll get “lucky.”

Some pray to the little ceribum to shoot them with love’s arrow, some target the little beast with an arsenal rivaling the U.S. Army.  Some swat at him as they would a fly, bothered by the pesky emotions that he invokes.

We know the name, it’s Cupid.

“The mention of Cupid typically conjures up images of a cherubic winged infant wielding a bow and arrow, but this wasn’t always the case.” according to the History.com website.  “Long before the Romans adopted and renamed him, Cupid was known to the Greeks as Eros, the god of love…..the son of Nyx and Erebus; or Aphrodite and Ares; or Iris and Zephyrus; or even Aphrodite and Zeus.”  Eros, with a quiver of special arrows said to arouse desire or ignite aversion, played with the emotions of gods and mortals.

And many would agree…..that’s exactly what Eros does, playing with the fragile psyche of the human experience.  Eros…..”the group of instincts, especially sexual, that govern acts of self-preservation and that tend towards uninhibited enjoyment of life,”  according to Merrimam-Webster’s dictionary.  Physical love or sexual desire…..Eros, the basis for the modern poster-child of Valentine’s Day.

But then, who is St. Valentine? Obviously there is a “Christian” response to this Romanized holiday that the foolish mortals of this world celebrate, right? Well, Saint Valentine, according to the Online Free Dictionary, is a third-century Roman saint associated with the tradition of courtly love…….and not much else.  He died on February 14th on Via Flaminia.   Courtly love…..ah, there’s something to celebrate, right?

Amour courtois, (“courtly love”) is an idolization of a mistress by a lover who then tries to become worthy of her by being brave and honorable….doing whatever she desires simply to prove his love and commitment.  This was based on sexual attraction, though it was not always for sexual satisfaction that courtly love was persued.

So, eros or amour courtois……love given to sexual desire, expressions of physical angst among the humans…..this is what we give chocolate, flowers, spend outrageous amounts of money pursuing another?

It is interesting, in the biblical text, that 1 Corinthians 13 is one of the most quoted parts of text in the world when it comes to love…..Love is…..Love is not……  Everyone, even those who do not know Christ, or profess His words know these verses…and often use them to push Christians to be purists, while they themselves fail to achieve such lofty goals.

But the very next verse is oft ignored……”Pursue Love…..” chapter 14 declares.  Pursue love and the spiritual gifts….”especially that you may prophesy.”  Those who prophesy speak to others for upbuilding, encouragement and consolation.    At least, that’s what follows in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.  Pursue love….for the sake of upbuilding, encouraging and consoling others.  Now that’s a noble and honorable task.

And it is embodied in yet another ‘famous’ verse, often seen at football games…..John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son…….”

Now that’s something to celebrate…..but not only one single day a year.

 

 

 

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