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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
July 2, 2011

My lover spoke and said to me,
     “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.
     See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
     Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come,
     the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
     The fig tree forms its early fruit;
          the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
     Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”

Song of Songs 2:10-13 (NIV*)

Song of Songs (sometimes called Song of Solomon) is an unusual book in the Bible in that it is basically erotic poetry. There has been tension among Biblical scholars over the centuries as to whether to take the text literally or as an allegory for God's love for us. Personally, I believe most scripture contains layers of meaning. So I am comfortable celebrating both its literal meaning and an allegorical meaning. These seem complementary to me.

The beauty of romantic love which we experience is a gift of God. It is part of how God made us. It is therefore appropriate that the scripture celebrates the desire of this man for the woman he loves to come away with him.

It is also true that God pursues us with an undying love. God sent Christ in human form to the earth to make that love more real and tangible to the people God loves. God yearns for us to recognize how much we are loved, and to love in return.

When we are in love with another human being, we can learn that true joy does not come in controlling another but in giving ourselves fully to them, and being completely vulnerable to the one we love. These lessons carry over into our spiritual lives, and can help us open ourselves fully to the amazing love of God, and give ourselves over to it. It is then that we know true joy, and the peace that passes all understanding. The time to experience the fullness of God's love is now.

Bill Samuel

* New International Version © International Bible Society.

©2011 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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