Monday, November 21, 2016

the oasis in the midst

The Word for today:
Song of Solomon 1:1-2:7
Look! Here it is: The Song of Solomon.
Many people think it's the crown jewel of the Bible.
I think so. It's the heart-shaped diamond at the center of the setting. And--like the shifting, elusive glory of the Lord in the vision of Ezekiel 1--we can't really pin down all the light shining from it.
The Song takes many guises and shapes. I've taught the book this way and that way and then another way. I used to castigate myself, thinking the changing ways I approached its teaching indicated that I had never really gotten a sure grip on its meaning.
But I castigate myself no more. Because I've come to appreciate that this diamond has many facets. Those facets--turned this way and that, examined from one angle then another--reflect a love that is ever original, ever new.
Do you remember love when love was new? The awkward, gushing crush you had when love first found you?
That's the essence of Song of Solomon. It's the eternal crush we hold for the Bridegroom. It's that heart-beating, palpitating, aromatic, sunlit, moonstruck, confused and desperate crush of love that is forever new.
I hope you return often to the pages of Song of Solomon. I hope you hear it ever rearranging. May your love for Jesus be ever growing, its meaning ever gathering and forever young. May eternity be too short to explore all of its facets.
Man was banished from Eden. A long and arid death march ensued--into the wilderness, past the terrifying summit of Sinai, then through a dissolving kingdom that all the king's horses could not carry back from exile…
When, behold, an oasis, evergreen, in the midst of the barren land.
Song of Solomon is the oasis in the midst. And though I fell into sin in the garden, in the oasis I fell in love. And I am here to tell you that love is no mirage.

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