Saint Valentine’s Day 2016

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I chose this muted picture of a purple wildflower because this year Valentine’s Day falls in Lent, and I thought the darker rich tone best fit the penitential nature of the season.

Who was Valentine?

A physician and priest living in Rome during the rule of Emperor Claudius, Valentine became one of the noted martyrs of the third century.  The commemoration of his death, which occurred in AD 270, became part of the calendar of remembrance in the Early Church of the West.  Tradition suggests that on the day of his execution for his Christian faith, Valentine left a note of encouragement for a child of his jailer written on an irregularly shaped piece of paper.  This greeting became a pattern for millions of written expressions of love and caring that now are the highlight of Valentine’s Day in many nations.

Treasury of Daily Prayer, CPH, page 1209.

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O God of mercy, God of might,
In love and pity infinite,
Teach us, as ever in Thy sight,
To live our lives in Thee.

And may Thy Holy Spirit move
All those who live to live in love
Till Thou shalt greet in heaven above
All those who live in Thee.

— “O God of Mercy, God of Might,” LSB 852:1, 6.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day.

National Geographic Photography Contest Entry

The picture above was going to be my entry in this year’s National Geographic photography contest.  However, at the last hour, I realized that it did not qualify because it was taken in the wrong year.  Nonetheless, it is a beautiful picture; and while it cannot be submitted to National Geographic, it does qualify to be published on Light from Light.  Here is the description I wrote for this photo:

What you see is how this picture came out of the camera, as is, with no computer enhancements.  I generally shy away from computer enhanced photography, not just because I am unskilled with Photoshop, but also because I think it often ends up distracting from the reality of what God has made.  There is beauty all around us, but sometimes we need to lay down on the ground and look for it.  For the Lord, one “day is like a thousand years” (2 Peter 3:8), and just as he walks through the depths (Job 38:16), so also he has time to walk the forest floor, to look at every flower, to say ‘hello’ to every bee, and to spend time with all his creatures, including human beings.

Most human photographers cannot see the deep, but we can stop to smell the flowers and to share beautiful perspectives that for many go mostly unseen.

The picture above is my submission for this year’s contest.  It is of rays of light shining down on a farm in northeastern Wisconsin.  One of the goals of National Geographic photographs is to reflect reality.  The director of photography stated:

“The world is already full of visual artifice, and we don’t want the National Geographic Photo Contest to add to it.  We want to see the world through your eyes, not the tools of Photoshop.”

This scene is as I saw it.  It reminds me of the Second Coming.  Some day Christ will return, and all our perspectives will change.

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day.

A physician and priest living in Rome during the rule of Emperor Claudius, Valentine became one of the noted martyrs of the third century.  The commemoration of his death, which occurred in AD 270, became part of the calendar of remembrance in the Early Church of the West.  Tradition suggests that on the day of his execution for his Christian faith, Valentine left a note of encouragement for a child of his jailer written on an irregularly shaped piece of paper.  This greeting became a pattern for millions of written expressions of love and caring that now are the highlight of Valentine’s Day in many nations.

Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, page 1209.

Truly, He is Risen

Happy Easter!He is risen.He is risen indeed!

Jesus lives!  The victory’s won!
Death no longer can appall me;
Jesus lives!  Death’s reign is done!
From the grave Christ will recall me.
Brighter scenes will then commence;
This shall be my confidence.

— “Jesus Lives! The Victory’s Won,” The Lutheran Hymnal 201:1.

This is a beautiful flower, but there is a truth that is more beautiful: the Truth of the Word of God:  The deed is done.  He is risen in deed.