Right in the middle of our Bibles we find one of its most neglected books – the Song of Songs. There are many reasons we might shy away from this Song. It can seem as though we are ‘eaves-dropping’ on an intimate conversation between two lovers. It can raise deeply personal feelings, as we are presented with an ‘ideal’ that so often doesn’t match our experience.
Yet this book of the Bible is God’s good word for all of God’s people. In a world in which we experience confusion, hurt, and breakdown in our relationships, the Song sings a message of hope and life. It celebrates the gift of romantic love, rightly expressed in the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. It gives much needed wisdom on how to guard, foster, and enjoy healthy, God-honouring relationships.
More than this, though, in the big story of the Bible the Song points us beyond itself. As good as the love pictured here is, it can never fulfil our deepest longings. The Bible takes the intensity of romantic intimacy, and claims that it is a signpost pointing us to the much deeper, eternal, and perfect intimacy that all people were made for – the deep, passionate, love of God for his people; the committed, self-sacrificial love of Christ for his Bride, the Church. Jesus invites all people, regardless of background, brokenness, or sin, married or single, male or female, to receive this gift of true intimacy – to be both fully known, and completely loved, for all eternity.
Over three Sundays we will see how the Song opens up to us three aspects of this intimacy:
Sunday 10th September: The Gift of Intimacy
Sunday 17th September: The Fall of Intimacy
Sunday 24th September: The Perfection of Intimacy