Rector’s Weekly Letter to the Congregation for Sunday, September 22, 2019
The Book of Song of Songs
The book of Song of Songs is the twenty-second book of the Bible. It has eight chapters and one hundred and seventeen verses. The book is a collection of poetic exclamations in the form of a dialogue between two lovers – a man and a woman. The book uses sometimes graphic intimate expressions which make some people qualm and avoid reading and studying the book.
The presence of such a book in holy writ is a testimony to the fact that it is absolutely appropriate for a person of faith to express intimate love to the right person, in the right place, and at the right time. Society has done humanity a disservice by presenting sexuality in a crass and casual manner thus divesting it of its holiness as a gift of God. Christians are obligated to rise up and restore sexuality to its rightful honored place as intended by God. God affirms the beauty of human sexual love.
The book acknowledges its author to be Solomon. Solomon wrote this poem to express his love to some lover of his. Bible readers have disagreed over the centuries as to what this love drama means. Some think it was simply local and therefore limited to Solomon and his lover. Others say it depicts God’s love for humanity and yet others that it’s Christ’s love for the Church that the poem is representing. Intense love is expressed in the book back and forth by Solomon and his lover.
After reading the book many times and reflecting on God’s love, I came to the conclusion that the love God has for a believer is stronger than the love Solomon expressed to his lover in the book of Song of Songs. Indeed, if we look at our present circumstances, we might not feel too loved by God. Perhaps we lack stuff that we want, or lovers that we want, or circumstances that we want. But we must remember that God is not committed to our happiness in the way we have formulated happiness in our minds, namely, to have all our prayers answered in the way we want at the time we want. The happiness of knowing God and hoping in God is the only true happiness there is—there’s no other. God desires to fill our hearts with himself, not with the junk and toys we imagine to bring us happiness. And oftentimes he refuses to spoil us however much we throw tantrums in his face. A good parent he is. So, God loves us more than Solomon loved his lover in the Song of Songs.
Also, I got the lesson that love and marriage involve the total enjoyment of each other between husband and wife, not just the sexual act—laugh together, cry together, do life together, serve each other, care for each other, nourish each other, worship God together, pray together and for each other, play together, affirm each other, and enjoy God’s world. It is not one side only to do things for the other. Both are responsible for each other before God. The husband serves the wife, and the wife serves the husband, and so on.
Outline of the book of Song of Songs:
- Title 1:1
- The first meeting 1:2 – 2:7
- The second meeting 2:8 – 3:5
- The third meeting 3:6 – 5:1
- The fourth meeting 6:4 – 8:4
- The climax of the poem 8:5 – 7
- The concluding remarks 8:8 – 14
Please read the book of Song of Songs and feel the love God has for you as a believer in Jesus Christ and respond accordingly.