Sunday, November 24, 2013

of shepherds and kings

"Shepherd, Cross, & Crown" -- Stained Glass Panels, Faith Community Lutheran Academy
"Shepherd, Cross, & Crown" -- Stained Glass Panels, Faith Community Lutheran Academy
The Word for today:
Song of Solomon 5:2-6:3
What's all this about shepherds, and Kings, and the Son of David returning to rescue His Bride--toiling under the sun—then placing her under His banner in the garden…
Song of Solomon can be pretty tricky to follow. The voices drift in and out and it is never easy to know just who is speaking. Many of our Bibles have labeled the shifting speaking parts, but that can cause as many problems as it solves!
The most reliable hint that we can give you concerning the various voices is this:
The bridegroom always refers to his bride as “my love,” and the bride calls him “my beloved.” (cf. Ephesians 1:6; Genesis 2:24)
Besides the shifting voices, the reader must also contend with shifting time. Following the conventions of oriental song, there is little or no attempt at chronological order.
It is best to think of Song of Solomon as an album of photos taken of the Beloved and His Love. The pictures capture their love, but are not necessarily arranged chronologically.
This is impressionistic poetry, written by the Poet who healed with a word and painted with light. How does one arrange snapshots of a love not bound by space or time? How does one arrange remembrances of the future?
But the biggest aid to understanding Song of Solomon is to recognize that every slice of the Bible will correspond to the whole--
So, let's see...we have a bridegroom, who is a shepherd, who comes back as a King.
Known to the Holy Spirit (author of the Bible) but unknown to Solomon, there was to come a good shepherd who would lay down his life for his sheep (1). But though he were dead, he will return as King to regather his Bride.
And so, as shepherd turns into king, a heart-pounding love poem turns into breath-taking prophecy, as well.
(1) John 10:11-15

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