Devotional – Wednesday, July 1, 2020
I am thankful that these daily devotions have been a source of inspiration during this very difficult time in all of our lives. I thank God for making the room in my life to write these daily devotions, yet I hear God clearly calling me to a season of rest at this time. Starting today, I will be sending by email the devotions once a week on Wednesdays. They will also be posted to Facebook and our website. The next edition will be sent and posted on July 8, 2020. The devotions will focus on the upcoming text for worship and preaching. Thank you for your words of encouragement these past three months as God gave me insights to share with you daily.
“How beautiful you are, my love, how very beautiful! …Until the day breathes and the shadows flees, I will hasten to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense. You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” [Song of Solomon 4:1a, 6-7]
This coming Sunday our main text will be from The Song of Solomon or The Song of Songs, as some translations title this short book sandwiched between Ecclesiastes and Isaiah. The text is an ongoing conversation between of two lovers, although this song is not only understood as human love poetry, but perhaps, primarily as a description of the love relationship between God and Israel. Interpreters identify one lover as God and the other lover as Israel, with the poetry a description of Israel’s ongoing history of redemption by God. God’s unconditional love beholds Israel’s loveliness even when it spurns God’s love. We, too, spurn God’s love. We turn away or even push away and worship idols of our own making. As Professor Allie Utley writes, “Anytime we take some thing or idea and make it solid and immovable, we create an idol.” As we prepare for Sunday’s worship, we are asked to consider those solid and immovable things or ideas or even experiences of God that stand between ourselves and the continual outpouring of God’s beckoning love, “How beautiful you are, my beloved child, how very beautiful!”
O Great Lover, your love never runs dry. Your love continually beckons me to come, to be embraced by the fullness of your mystery. I confess that I am shy at times in the face of your overwhelming love, but at times I am also downright rebellious. Help me to trust ever more fully that I am your beloved and that your love will never forsake me. Amen.