Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thirty Years...But Who's Counting?


Who's counting? Well, I had better be if I want to make it to thirty-one years! :o)

Yes, this coming Sunday, June 3rd, My wife and I will be celebrating 30 years of marriage, and I must report, right from the beginning, that they have been some great years! Sure, we have had our ups and downs, our joys and sorrows, our days of intimate communication as well as times of hurtful words. But, God has richly blessed us, and to Him we give great thanks.

How appropriate, that on the Sunday I am to be preaching the overview of Song of Songs, it just so happens to be our anniversary. How cool is that!? It was as if God had planned it that way, ya think?

So, we come to this oft misunderstood portion of God's Word. The book that doesn't get preached much do to it's "steamy nature," but an important part of God Word nonetheless. It begs to be read, and to be understood and to be applied.

The text through out the book speaks of desire and the direction of that desire. Desire, specifically in relationship to love, is to be understood as God-created, and thus to be welcomed and enjoyed. But this desire is not without its direction. It is not be be wantonly thrown about, but to be fixed upon the one to whom we are given in marriage. And yet the picture drawn here goes far beyond the marriage bed, but I believe calls us to an intimate relationship with our Creator.

God has placed in our hearts a desire for some One outside of ourselves, some One transcendent. The problem arises when that God-given desire to sent off in the wrong direction and finds its "satisfaction" in one other than for whom it was created. Once again, marriage is a divinely created relationship meant to show us a picture (however marred) of the relationship God desires with each of us.

So herein this wonderful story of love between a man and a woman we find God's desire for us. I encourage you to read though the whole of the book in one sitting and let its message of God's intimate love for you wash over you as a refreshing, life-giving stream. And may you heart and soul be ignited by His passion for you.

4 comments:

spa_time said...

Congratulations to both of you Randy. Wowie - 30 years!! You'll always be older than me in that respect... :-p

Pam

Anonymous said...

To me, the Song of Solomon is waaaaaay to physical and sensuous to be an allegory of God’s love since we are to be led by the spirit not the senses in our relationship with God so it seems reasonable that it is an example of what God intends a marriage relationship to be, but many much more credible, educated biblical scholars would probably disagree with me. Anyway this book and Revelations are ones I don't try to hard to understand.

Congratulations on 30 years and I’m proud of you for remembering your anniversary and confident you will think of something very romantic to do for your better half on that day. I pray that June 3, 2007 will be a day (and evening) that will provide both of you with extra special, precious memories to cherish.

gentledove

Pastor Randy said...

gentledove,

I agree the relationship that we have with God is a spiritual one, and thus Song of Songs seems way to physical on that regard. But, if we move away from the physicality of the descriptions what we see is deep desire of one lover for the other, and this I believe is the message communicated in regards to our relationship with God.

God has a deep longing for us, and we should have for Him. It is that "for your eyes only" sense that is communicated. It broke God's heart when Israel (maybe later the church) would go and commit adultery with other gods (very physical description again), why? Because He desire was for us alone. He is the Lover of our souls. What a amazing, overwhelming thing this is to me, that the Creator of the universe, the Sovereign of eternity desires you and me. Wow!

Yes, Song of Songs seems a little over the top, I agree, and in many ways truly is a little difficult to fathom, but that's the way our God is, right?

Thanks for your thoughts, and THANKS for the prayer that our day of celebration will be a blessed one. I'm working on it! ;o)

Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Randy! Thirty years! Congrats to you and to Linda. Quite the milestone!

The Song of Solomon, Song of Songs, Canticles, whatever, is an awesome book. Like you said, it's rarely taught. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard it taught in my upbringing. Not that SoS is something that will be likely taught in Sunday School. "OK, kids, last week we taught on Noah and the Ark. Now let's turn to the Song of Songs...."

A few years ago, when I was an associate pastor, I was doing a teaching series on the life and works of Solomon. I had gone over his rise to the throne, a long series on the Solomonic Temple, an overview of the Proverbs and was about to embark on the Song. The Senior Pastor sat me down and asked if I was sure that I wanted to do that book. I asked why. He said that, even though he had studied it for himself, he had never heard it taught.

I went ahead and taught it, breaking up the book into six different teachings. I can't say how it affected the congregation, but I can honestly say that the studying and teaching of that book radically changed my view on God's love for me. I knew that God loved me. I knew this. Not a mystery. But after going through the Song, I realized how passionately He loves me. How intense. Somehow I missed all that before.

Seems odd to say, but it's true. I knew that Jesus died for me on the cross; I knew He took my sins upon Himself. Got all that. But for some reason the urgency of His love towards me was never really anchored for me until that series thru the Song.

I hope you mine great riches within that rich soil, Randy.

Blessings on ya,

Dan-o