How Do I Love Thee?

My lover spoke and said to me,
“Get up, my darling; let’s go away, my beautiful one.
Look, the winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Blossoms appear through all the land.
The time has come to sing; the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
There are young figs on the fig trees, and the blossoms on the vines smell sweet.
Get up, my darling; let’s go away, my beautiful one.”    Song of Songs 2:10-13 (NCV)

Lectionary texts: Song of Songs 2:8-13, Psalm 72, James 1:17-27, Mark 7:1-23

The lectionary texts this week are all about love but I want to warn you that as I read them through – I wasn’t left with just warm and fuzzy feelings.

Do you love God? When you think about your relationship with Jesus, what words comes to your mind to describe that relationship? If you were painting a picture of your love for God what would it look like?

I am not a linguist like my husband but I have been married to him for over 12 years and have read some commentaries on the word “love” as it is used in the Bible. The love that God has for me isn’t distant and it isn’t reserved.

Giving and Serving. Psalm 72 speaks about “justice” and “redemption”. God’s love for me blesses me with what I truly need. He doesn’t give me chocolates – He gives me His Son as the perfect sacrifice that will allow me to live forever with Him. God doesn’t just bless me with “stuff” but gives me His time so that we can talk and grow closer together. He who is Creator of the universe spends time with me like He has all the time in the world. (which He does!) Jesus teaches me about how love shows itself in serving and giving without expecting a return. He gives freely and encourages me to give freely.

Passionate. Even if I had not taken the time to read about how certain words in Scripture that have been used to mean love are talking about passionate love I could “get that” by God’s actions. He forgives over and over and over and … (you get that!) provided a plan to eternally be in a relationship with me. He died for me. He held nothing back. There is no question that He will not discuss with me; there is no aspect of a full relationship that is “off limits” to Him.

All. Do you ever feel lonely? There have been times in my life when I felt completely alone. I looked around and everyone seemed busy in their own lives and I didn’t believe I haD anyone who was interested in listening to me or helping me or just spending time with me. That was a huge lie! There’s an old Southern Gospel song that says, “He was there all the time … Waiting patiently in line … He was there all the time.” Jesus has always been there. I can look back now at the times that I laid in my bed and cried until my pillow was wet from one end to the other because I thought I was all alone. Jesus was there. I know He was. He brought me through to where I am today. I still have times that I cry into my pillow – but I now know that Jesus is there with His hand on me, maybe even shedding a tear with me. “Jesus doesn’t cry!” you say? He wept at Lazarus’ tomb. He wept in Gethsemane. I believe He wouldn’t be weeping for the same reasons I weep but He would weep – because I hurt. I believe Jesus has that depth of love and compassion.

I am going to be reading these Scriptures this week because I want to spend some time “in love” with my LORD, my Jesus. It’s our time.

Come Away with Me written and sung by Norah Jones



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