It was not into my ear that you whispered but into my heart, Was not my lips you kissed but my soul. Judy Garland
A Reading from Song of Songs 2:1-7
I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens.
As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his intention toward me was love. Sustain me with raisins, refresh me with apples; for I am faint with love. O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me! I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the wild does: do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready!
The astute reader perceives something more. Its tale of love, courtship, compassion, intimacy, longing, and mutual delight resounds with many of the elements that characterize God's dealings with God's people. Bawdy, titillating, cryptic, and bordering sometimes on the lewd, the lovers' unpredictable love affair - characterized by halts, jerks, lurches, twitches, and inconstancy - shows remarkable parallels with the history of the relationship between human and divine love. We are forced to ponder the powerful emotions underlying the divine-human bond: what it means to be demanding yet fickle; desperate, but timid; what it means to wound those we love and to be wounded by love, to disappoint those we love and to be disappointed by love, to be hopelessly attached to each other and trying to hear what the other is saying. The New Interpreter's Bible, Volume V, p. 391Prayer
O Cosmic Christ,
in your heart
all history finds meaning and purpose.
In the new millennium,
in the celebration of jubilee
help us find that which we all seek:
a communion of love
with each other
and with you, the Alpha and Omega,
the first and last,
the yesterday, today, and tomorrow, the beginning without end. Amen.
Mary Lou Kownacki