My Soul Loves

My Soul Loves

Song of Songs 3:1-51”Allnight long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him butdid not find him.” 2”Iwill get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I willsearch for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him.” 3”Thewatchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. “Have you seenthe one my heart loves?” 4”Scarcelyhad I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would notlet him go till I hadbrought him to my mother’s house to the room of the one who conceived me.” 5”Daughtersof Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the Does of the field: Do notarouse or awaken love until it so desires.” One of the most misunderstood books in the OldTestament is probably The Song of Solomon or called by some, “The Song of Songs”.One may wonder how is it possible that there can be a Book of the Bible thatdoes not mention the name of God. Theologians have argued why this book wasincluded into the Canon over the years. My training tells me to first read theBible as it is. This is a love story and we are reading a love letter. {{more}}Have you ever received a love letter? Not, roses are red, and violets are blue.Sugar is sweet and so are you. No! I mean a real love letter that is writtenfrom the depths of one’s feelings that expresses the secret thoughts, desiresand dreams. A love letter your loved one has sprinkled on it a drop of thefinest – perfume, White Diamonds; or cologne Hugo Boss. It reminds you so muchof that special someone that sometimes you do not reread it, you just smell theletter. Have you ever received a love letter whose language was so descriptivethat you had to hide it between the mattresses of your bed to prevent anyonefrom seeing it? A Temptations type love letter: you have a smile so bright, youcould have been a candle; you holding me so tight, you could have been a handle.Have you ever received a love letter? That is what the Song of Solomon is alove letter between a bride and a groom. It was written by a love child –Solomon. You remember his father David and his mother Bath-Sheba. David one day lookingover his roof top saw Uriah’s wife, Bath-Sheba. From that day he desired herand had her husband assigned to a dangerous mission after trying to convincehim to stay with his wife after David had spent time with her. Uriah was killedin battle and David took Bath-Sheba as his bride. Nathan, David’s Pastor comesto him one day with a message from the Lord. There were two men in one city; the one rich and theother poor. The rich man had many flocks and herds: but the poor man hadnothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had brought up and nourished: andit grew up together with his children and was unto him a daughter. A travelercame to the king and instead of taking one of his many flocks and herds; hetook the poor man’s one lamb for the traveler. David became angry against theman and said to Nathan, the man shall surely die for doing this thing. Nathansaid, Thou art the man and told him all of the evil he will bring upon himselfbecause of this terrible sin. David puts on sack cloth and ashes and says thesefamous words: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness:according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Purge mewith hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast menot away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore untome the joy of my salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit.Solomon was a wise child.He loved the Lord, walked in the law, and sacrificeddaily. One night the Lord appeared unto him and asked what shall I give thee?Solomon answered that the Lord has been kind to David and permitted him,David’s son to sit on the throne. But, as a young child, how was he to serveand judge such a multitude of people. He asked for an understanding heart sothat he would be able to discern between good and bad. The Lord was pleasedwith his request and told him he would give him a wise and understanding heart.Since he did not ask for long life, or riches, or victory over his enemies, hewould also give him riches and honor; so that there will not be any among thekings like thee. And if he walked in him law and keep his commandments, hewould lengthen his days. He had a practical wisdom in statesmanship andadministration of justice. He had an academic and didactic wisdom, in a worldfamed for wise men; he stood heads and shoulders above them all. He was acharismatic child.His fame and charisma was so great that The Queen ofSheba came to visit him with her caravans of spices, gold, precious stones, andcamels. She brought all her riches and beauty and sat at his feet. She hadheard of his fame and wisdom. She told him the secret desires of her heart andSolomon shared his wisdom and whatever she asked, he gave. After theirrendezvous together, the scriptures say that there was no more spirit in her.Queen Sheba remarked that all the reports she had heard where true, “but thehalf has not been told.” He was the love doctor.Solomon loved many strange women. He used the marriage bed as a way ofdeveloping alliances with the people from neighboring countries. Even thoughGod had told him not to go into these countries or allow those countries tocome into Israel because they would cause him to turn away from God. At lastcount, Solomon had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundredconcubines. Being a love child, or a wise child, or a charismatic child, or even a lovedoctor would not seemingly be reason enough to include this book in the Bible. Whyis this book in the bible with its suggestive, provocative language? Why isthis book in the Bible that is so anatomically graphic? Why is this book in theBible that is steamy and sensuous? The reason this book is in the Bible is toexplain God’s love as Eros. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrating hiscommand of Biblical Greek in his sermon titled, “A Christmas Sermon on Peace”preached in December 1967. It is the sermon where he uses the phrase, “That alllife is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affectsall indirectly.” He describes love from the Greek perspective: Agape, Philos,and Eros. Because he divides the terms into its three classical Greek meaningsand since our minds process information in a compartmentalized fashion. Peopletend to think of these terms in three separate and distinct categories. Inreality from the perspective of God they have a unified meaning. In other wordsGod is Love: Agape, Philos, and Eros all at the same time. Agape love is an understanding,creative love which gives without seeking anything in return. It’s witnessedwhen Jesus says no greater love is this, than a man lay down his life foranother.Philos love that is brotherly,sisterly or family. Scripture would say that it’s the kind of love that stickscloser than a brother. You find it in philosophy – love of wisdom, orphilanthropy – love of mankind.But, it takes Solomon, a love child, a wise child, a charismatic child, and alove doctor, to describe the Erosnature of God’s Love, the yearning of the soul for the realm of the divine.You find three things: 1. When your soul loves; it is intimate2. When your soul loves; it is exciting3. When your soul loves; it is enduring.If you just read the text as it is, that would not have been enough to have itcanonized as Holy Scripture. A second look discloses the theologicalsignificance of the text. Because the bride is a metaphor for the church, andthe groom is a metaphor for Jesus Christ. The early church fathers realized that Solomon was expressing the Eros of Godthrough language that was intimate, exciting, and enduring. That is why youhave to be careful when you are dealing with the church. You are not onlydealing with God’s mind, you are not only dealing with God’s heart, but you aredealing with God’s soul. I do not fear any man, but I do fear God. You who makeup the body of Christ; we who are members of his fellowship called the church.You must be careful that we do nothing that brings dishonor or shame to hisbride. God loves the church. Jesus Christ died for his church. Jesus is comingagain to receive his church without spot or wrinkle. We must get ourselves andthe church ready for the bridegroom. What does the bride do?1. She seeks whom her soul loves.2. She cries out for whom her soul loves.3. She embraces whom her soul loves.If the Church wants an intimate, exciting, andenduring relationship with God; you must seek him, you must cry out for him,and when he comes you must embrace him and never let him go.The Church and the people of the Church must be able to say with sincerity anddepth of meaning: My Soul Loves. Now you know why your soul loves. Amen!