4 April 2017

Song of Solomon 3:1-5

“I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not.” (v. 2)

Psalm: Psalm 133


There is a game of hide and seek going on in these verses. The woman takes huge risks with her life and reputation in order to find her beloved and becomes increasingly distraught (verses 1-3). She is not daunted by being a woman and limited by cultural norms. She knows what is hers and she puts all her time and energy into searching for him.

Today's passage invites us to reflect on Jesus' love for the Church. Jesus' love forces us to look beyond our comfort zone and narrow self-interest, and encourages us to take risks and embrace different ways of thinking and doing, just as Jesus did. Our ability to love makes the Church more God-like as it learns how to love to the uttermost all that God has made. The woman's search for her lover reminds us how precious love is, and when we find it we must do everything in our power to keep it. God, who is love, has created the church, the Body of Christ, to love and to be loved.

The demands of this quality of loving are hard and will make the Church unpopular and look out of step with society. Jesus made himself so unpopular he was crucified, the ultimate example of loving to the uttermost when the beloved runs away and hides. Nothing prepares us for the demands of love's journey. The roller coaster ride of love requires enormous patience and huge commitment. Easter promises that transformation will happen, but in God's time, not ours. Until then the Church is called to love because God is love.

To Ponder

  • How far does the Church reflect her love of God? Where are the signs of loving unity between Christ and his Church?
  • What risks is your local church taking in order to love as God loves? 

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.