On Sunday, Feb. 9, I threw out a pair of shorts that had some holes in places that made them inappropriate to wear. On Friday, I opened a nicely wrapped package that said, "To My Perfect Valentine." Inside were my worn out britches with a heart sewn over a hole and the hand-written line: "My heart pants for you."
Hearts are important to Jesus. In Matt. 5:8, He says: "The pure in heart are partakers of the divine blessings, for they shall see God." The pure in heart are those who have an honest desire for righteousness. The Greek word righteousness is defined as "restoring relationships." If you are a righteous person you will be busy restoring people with their relationship to God, with others and to life no matter if they be Jew or Gentile, Greek or Barbarian, Arab or American, Republican or Democrat. The result of this is that a new nature is formed in us. We are now pure on the inside as the old selfish, bigoted nature has been cast out.
One day Moshe invited a beggar to his tent for a meal. When grace was being said, the beggar began to curse God, declaring that he could not bear to hear His name. Seized with indignation, Moshe drove the blasphemer away.
When he was at his prayers that night, God said to Moshe: "This man has cursed and reviled me for 50 years, and yet I have given him food to eat every day. Could you not put up with him for a single meal?"
God issued the reminder: "Your valentine mission is to love one another and to bless others as God has blessed you. You mission is to restore others to life and to a relationship with Him."
Therefore not just on Valentine's but on every day of the year: "Love one another." Love each other, not with a love that depends on chemistry, mood and feelings, not even with the love that depends on the behavior of others. But love each other with the kind of love that comes from a "pure heart."
Pastor Roger Lemke of Fishers of Men Lutheran Church.