Proper 17 (22) (September 2, 2012)
8 Ah, I hear my lover coming!
He is leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
9 My lover is like a swift gazelle
or a young stag.
Look, there he is behind the wall,
looking through the window,
peering into the room.
10 My lover said to me,
“Rise up, my darling!
Come away with me, my fair one!
11 Look, the winter is past,
and the rains are over and gone.
12 The flowers are springing up,
the season of singing birds has come,
and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
13 The fig trees are forming young fruit,
and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
Rise up, my darling!
Come away with me, my fair one!”
This is one of those tough passages. I can only imagine coming to this point in the lectionary and having to work on a sermon from this passage. As I think about this passage – it’s a great passage about young people in love. Many of us know what that is all about. There are times when I wish I could go back there, but There are many more times when I prefer our relationship the way it is now. While it may not always be youthful and exciting – the spark is still there and we love each other very much.
A second thing I think about as I read this passage is the church. The church is often – and rightly so — as the bride of Christ. Imagine – as the bride of Christ – if we were so excited to go with our groom. Sometimes it almost seems like it is a chore for us to be His bride. No, it should be exciting – just like newlyweds. My prayer for you this weekend is for you to evaluate your part in being the bride of Christ. I encourage you to put some spark back into your relationship with the groom.