STORY OF LOVE: Mathison shares message with Female Factor Participants
Published 3:00 am Thursday, February 11, 2016
Those who attended the February edition of The Female Factor should have little doubt as to what Valentine’s Day is all about.
Dr. John Ed Mathison, Leadership Ministries, told the large gathering of females exactly what Valentine’s is all about. He began with a short biographical sketch of St. Valentine and closed with the National Anthem.
As strange as that might seem, Mathison wove the two together like a red and white tapestry.
Mathison said Saint Valentine of Rome was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire.
“Valentine was put in jail but even there he found peace,” Mathison said. “His jailer could not understand how a man who was imprisoned could be happy. He wanted his daughter to see this man who could be happy in such circumstances so he brought her to work with him.”
Mathison said that, by some accounts, the jailer’s daughter was blind and during his imprisonment, Valentine healed her.
“As Valentine was being taken to be executed, he smiled at the girl and gave her a note that was signed, ‘Your Valentine.’”
“It’s the story of faith, of a Christian who was willing to die for what he believed.”
As the clock ticks toward Valentine’s Day or the Day of Love, Mathison gave his audience three phrases to hang on, not only for February 14 but also for all days.
“First. Appreciate the past,” he said. “On this Valentine’s Day, Americans will spend a total of $18.9 billon, which is more than the budget for the State of Georgia. Americans will spend $l.6 billion on 1.5 tons of candy.”
But Mathison said Valentine’s Day is not about chocolate candy or roses. It started with a man who was willing to give his life for his Christian beliefs.
“A part of our heritage is folks who gave their lives for what they believed in,” he said. “We are recipients of the people of our past.”
Mathison said Americans should accentuate the present.
“We should do something of significance,” he said. “We should keep the faith and not give up or give in. And, we should anticipate the future. We should always go forward and not in fear or with guilt. We should move forward in love because love is the greatest motivating factor. Love is what is most important.”
And, Mathison said, those who appreciate the past, accentuate the present and anticipate the future will be able to answer positively to the question posed at the close of the first verse of the National Anthem: Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
“We think of that verse as the last but there are four verses,” he said. “The fourth verse answers that question: ‘And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!’”