Song of Songs 2:8-13 Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away
Mark 7:1-8, 14–15, 21-23 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come … and they defile a person.
James 2:17-27 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.
Song of Songs is a love poem, arguably an erotic love poem. It celebrates the mutuality of love, and the playful aspect of loving another. There is give and take, appreciation of beauty and grace, and two equal voices alternating in their appreciation of and seeking out of the other. Many have wondered how it is that this belongs in the Bible. How does this challenge us to love God? A lot of contemporary Christian songs could easily be changed from a Christian song to being just about love. Alternately, I often find a modern rock, country, or other genre song on the radio that helps me to understand God’s love for me and vice versa. What does all of this mean in our faith life? Can intimacy be a Christian trait?
James says to be “doers of the word” and not just people who hear the word, nod our hands in agreement, and then sit on our tuckus wondering where the world went so wrong. Jesus reminds the Pharisees and the elite Jews of his time of the God behind all of the rules and restrictions of holy laws and traditions developed by the elders. He does not tell them that they are wrong to be concerned with ‘right action,’ but he does change their focus away from “what is right” to “where is God” or more accurately “who is God.” God is Jesus and God is love. How can we be love? And is this how we love God?