Best of Daily Reflections: Three Truths about God’s Passionate LoveDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land.”
Song of Songs 2:8-13
Our deepest yearnings cannot be fully expressed in words, so Christians must wholeheartedly embrace the arts.
George Frederick Handel asked Charles Jennens to summarize all 31,173 verses of the Bible, and Jennens did so in just 81 verses. Imagine that. The only reason it works is because Handel took Jennen’s abbreviation of the Bible and filled in the gaps with celestial music. The music completed the words.
The Song of Solomon is an example of faith-inspired art. It has no explicit reference to God, the Law, the Covenant, Jesus, or any significant biblical figure, yet it’s included in the Bible. Its message soars higher, wider, and deeper than mere histories, laws, first person accounts, or epistles. So a poem about two lovers describes God’s passionate love for us. The best thing we can do is read the whole poem. Art and poetry work best when we open ourselves up to their full complexity. When I do this with the Song of Solomon, I rediscover three truths about God’s love.
1) No obstacle can stop God from approaching the ones he loves.
The voice of my beloved!
Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
2) Being passionately loved by God does not mean that we see God clearly or understand God completely.
Look, there he stands
behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows,
looking through the lattice.
3) God’s love overcomes the winter of our unfaithfulness.
My beloved speaks and says to me:
"Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle-dove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away."
There’s no containing God’s love story. That’s why a song, a verse, a view, a story, a thought, and a thousand other things that aren’t about God are, in the end, full of God. His story will be in every part of your story today.
PRAYER: Lord God, I am grateful for all the ways I find you in the Bible, but you also seem to delight in surprising me on the radio, in a movie theater, on the pages of a book, in a favorite fragrance, or in a panoramic view. All creation sings of your glory. Let my whole life be part of that song. Amen.