ACCIDENTAL MIRACLE Andy Hollifield 2-15-17
Valentine’s Day is a lot larger holiday than you probably think. According to History.com, more than 62 % of Americans celebrate Valentine’s day by giving cards, flowers, gifts, romantic dinners, and more. Lupercalia was an ancient Roman fertility festival but the Christian church chose mid February to celebrate St. Valentine’s day thus capitalizing on the celebratory festivities of the Roman holiday. Claudius II, emperor of Rome banned marriage at one point for young single men believing that single men made better soldiers. One Christian cleric named Valentine was sentenced to death for continuing to perform marriage ceremonies in spite of the ban around 278 AD. One tradition says that Valentine became fond of his jailer’s daughter prior to his death and left her a card that was signed; love, your Valentine. Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as the day to honor the death of St. Valentine. The holiday became linked with love and romance in the 1300’s and also in part because it was believed that bird’s mating season began on February 14th. Some accounts have the tradition of cards being exchanged occurring first in the 1700’s in Great Britain even though some have the first greetings and letters in the 1500’s. The first mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards in the US appeared in the 1840’s and the holiday quickly caught on. It is estimated that 1 billion cards are sent on Valentine’s Day, more than any other holiday except Christmas. Over 35 million heart-shaped boxes are sold each year as well as over 220 million roses are produced for the holiday for a typical year. Americans alone spend almost 20 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day. That is an average of 130 dollars per person per year. The favorite gifts are Chocolate, flowers, and jewelry in that order. The expenditure for jewelry though, can exceed as much as 4 billion annually. Also, some 6 million couples are likely to get engaged on Valentine’s Day. Of course the little, fat, eagle-eyed, archer Cupid is said to be the child of Venus the Roman Goddess of all things romantic love, beauty, etc…
Now that we have wasted a couple hundred words on totally useless information that you are destined to forget, we will move on to other things about the day. In 1919 UPS was started. Also, the first action that a Medal Of Honor was awarded for concluded on this day. In 1929 the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre occurred in Chicago. In 2000, tornadoes swept through southern Georgia killing 18 people. In 1884, fifteen years prior to becoming president, Teddy Roosevelt’s wife and mother die within hours of each other. Finally, something that affects us all, Penicillin was discovered. Sir Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered penicillin. Fleming had left a plate of Staphylococcus bacteria uncovered. He noticed later that a mold had fallen onto the culture and had killed many of the bacteria. Thus penicillin notatum (a mold similar to the one on old bread) was born and was introduced to the country on February 14th, 1929. It was introduced as a way to kill bacterial infections. From this one discovery by accident, many thousands of lives have been saved. Diseases such as diphtheria, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, and typhoid fever are just a few examples of bacterial infections. All of which can be fatal if left untreated.
With all of that said, I am thankful that we have a remedy for these types of infections that are caused by microscopic little things that get in your system and can eventually kill you. We still have a bigger problem though. We will take penicillin for these infections caused by bacteria, but we reject the antibiotic that will cure the infection caused by sin. We have a remedy. The second definition of remedy is; something that corrects or removes an evil of any kind. The word remedy is used in the Old Testament three times and not at all in the New Testament. The scriptures in the Old Testament all say without remedy or no remedy. I believe personally that it is not mentioned in the New Testament because the remedy has a name: Jesus Christ! All throughout the New Testament in example after example we find that Jesus is the remedy for sin. Don’t take my word for it, let’s look at some examples:
In John 4, we find Jesus traveling from Judea back to Galilee, a distance of about 70 miles or two and a half days. It is believed that normally Jews took the other route through Perea, east of Jordan, because of their hatred of Samaritans. But Jesus said he must needs go through Samaria. I believe it was because he had an appointment with a particular woman to tell her all things she had ever done. Also a lot of others believed because of her. Sounds a lot like a remedy for the wreck she had made of her life.
In John chapter 8 there is a woman taken in the very act of adultery. The law required that she be stoned. When they asked Jesus what to do, he calmly told them to let the one without sin throw the first one. When he looked again, no one was there. He told the woman that he didn’t condemn her but not to sin any more. From the jaws of death and an angry mob, to walking away with a clean heart and forgiveness of sin. There hadn’t been a remedy like that before.
There was also another woman in Matthew chapter 9. Although she wasn’t sinful, she had been 12 years in her condition and she had spent all her living on doctors but hadn’t got any better but only got worse. We know that she touched the hem of his garment and that was all it took. She had at long last found her remedy.
In 1 Kings 17 we find a widow that was one handful of meal and a little oil away from starvation. No record of her being a great sinner. She was just a mother trying to care for her son when she met God’s man. After her encounter with him, when she dipped her scoop down in the meal barrel that day she got a lot more than she was asking for. She found a remedy for her situation.
In 2 Kings 4, we find another widow with a broken heart and a couple of boys on their way to becoming slaves. When Elisha told them to borrow all the vessels they could find, they did. This woman was even the wife of a prophet that had died, but she had a problem she couldn’t fix so God did. In the face of losing all she held dear, she still believed and trusted God and found her remedy.
I have mentioned several cases from sickness to debt to sin sickness such as adultery to just not having enough to feed her family. God is still a remedy, excuse me, THE REMEDY for all of our needs. What is keeping you from going to the great Physician to get your remedy? No need to set there without enjoying your salvation. Penicillin may have been a miracle cure in 1929 but Jesus puts the MIRACLE in miracle cure. When will you accept the antibiotics and get your remedy? It was no accident that the miracle of salvation took place. God is still offering love and forgiveness today. I hope you have enjoyed the history part of this post but I especially hope you enjoyed the rest of it. He is the greatest Valentine you could possibly have. He is the subject of the greatest love story ever told and he is still saying: BE MINE! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!