Song of Solomon 2:10-13
“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 turtledove
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.”
When you read this passage in Song of Solomon, you may wonder, what could a devotion from this church member possibly tell me about romantic love? I wondered the same thing! Our society is overwhelmed with romance. I opened the Sunday paper and there was a whole page on ‘Romantic Getaways!’ There is a section in the library devoted to ‘Romance’ novels. And when you are choosing a movie on Netflix, you can pick a romantic comedy to entertain yourself. On the prayer chain, so many couples are celebrating long, long marriages. They have found a way to keep the romance alive in their unions. Scanning the crowd in church this Sunday, not everyone is married. Does that mean no romance for them? Read on.
Look closely at this scripture, it appeals to the senses. Feel the cold winter chill and the wet rain. In Nebraska, this past winter was an especially difficult one. It has been full of hardships with epic flooding and a long, cold wait for Spring. Look at all the colorful flowers around our city, green leaves on the trees, corn crops that have miraculously sprouted in abundance. Listen to the cardinals chirping their happy songs. Smell the blossoms of the Linden trees. Drink it in! Now, imagine a world without all that beauty. God has blessed us with such an amazing array of sights and sounds that we can scarcely take it all in. This kind of love ‘awakens the beauty inside and around us.’ Those were Pastor Eric’s words to describe God’s perfect love. We can all experience a combination of romantic, brotherly, sacrificial love when we ‘come away’ with Him. Many say the Old Testament is a bunch of rules and warnings, but here is the Song of Solomon, full of beautiful poetry and imagery, put there to remind us to remember love is the most important thing in life.
Are your senses awakened? Have you found God’s love arising in your heart? What can you do to produce the fruit of the spirit? Love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – are all out there waiting for you.
Dear God, Thank You for this beautiful world, filled with beautiful people. Open my heart to all the beauty that lies inside and around me. Let me use my gifts for a better world. Amen.
Written by Cindy Swanson
Cindy and her husband, Ray, have been members of Sheridan Lutheran Church since 1978. They have 3 sons, Ben, Andrew and Patrick who were confirmed at Sheridan. They enjoy spending time with their 4 grandchildren (ages 2-7). Cindy retired from teaching writing to middle schoolers for Lincoln Public Schools in 2014. She savors a good cup of coffee, a well-written book, a lively discussion and chocolate. She lives near a cemetery and knows each day is a gift!