(Before you begin, cut a large heart and a large cross from construction paper. For each child, prepare a goodie bag, like this one from You are God’s One-of-a-Kind Valentine.
Hold up the large construction paper heart and say:)
What celebration comes to mind when you see this? (Let volunteers answer.)
Valentine’s Day is a fun day to celebrate. The word valentine doesn’t mean “heart” or “love.” Valentine is just a man’s name. But long, long, long ago, God’s people started celebrating love on February 14th and calling it “Valentine’s Day.” We think they did this to help them remember a man named Valentine who did many kind things for God’s people. Those people wanted to remember his kindnesses. Ever since then, when we hear the name Valentine, we think of love.
Do you know the name of another person whose name makes us think of love? (Let volunteers answer.) Yes, Jesus’ name makes us think of love. Listen to what Jesus said one time. (Read John 15:13.)
(Hold the paper cross over the paper heart.)
The cross tells us more about real love than any valentine card can. God loved us so much that he sent his only Son to live and die for us and to come alive from the dead. Because of what Jesus did for us, we have new life, life here on earth and life forever and ever and ever one day in heaven.
We don’t know what the name Valentine means. But we do know exactly what the name Jesus means. God sent an angel to tell us! Listen to what that angel said. (Read Matthew 1:20–21.)
The name Jesus means “the Lord saves.” Jesus saves us from our sins. He washes them all away, and makes us God’s very own, dearly loved children! Why would God do such a wonderful thing for us? We can find the answer in 1 John 4:8. (Read it.)
God’s perfect love helps us love one another. It’s fun to trade Valentine cards and candy with our friends. But it’s even more fun to do loving, kind things for others all year round. What kind, loving things do you like to do?
(Let the children respond. Then distribute the “kits” you made. Then pray together:)
Dear Jesus, you are the best Valentine of all. Thank you for giving your life to save me. Help me share your love with everyone. Amen.
How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day with the children in your church?
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