6 April 2017

Song of Solomon 7:10-13

“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.” (v. 10)

Psalm: Psalm 135:1-7


In one of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, we are invited to seek God in the deepest desires of our hearts. Talk of God and desire do not often appear in the same sentence in Protestant Christianity, but when our desires are becoming more aligned with the desires of God, the desire of our hearts is God, the Beloved.

The language of the Song of Solomon is full of sexual imagery and rich intimations about lovemaking, but there is always an undercurrent about the dark and dangerous side of human passion. This poem is not God's permission for indulging in unbridled sexual activity and it is not all about romance and sex. It is about love struggling to survive against all the odds. As the story of the two lovers draws to a close we become powerfully aware that theirs is a love that has been beset by powers and forces which looked like they would overwhelm them (Song of Solomon 8:6-7).

A week today we will be reminded again of Jesus' immense struggle with love for God and love for humanity in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42). Jesus prays that he might be released from the suffering to come, but only if it is God's will. The desire of Jesus' heart is to do his Father's will, and because of love he submits to the cruellest of deaths. The love of Jesus for humankind is passionate and unlimited. Because Jesus loves to the uttermost, he is wide open to suffering, the two belong together, but the suffering does not overwhelm him.

To Ponder

  • What is the desire of your heart?
  • What examples can you think of, of people loving to the uttermost in the wider world? What might you learn from them? Give thanks to God for them.

Bible notes author

The Revd Diane Clutterbuck

Diane is an ordained presbyter in the Methodist Church. She works as as a coach, supervisor and trainer mainly in the public and voluntary sectors with people and organisations who are committed to growth and development.