The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 2/14

Posted on | February 14, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 2/14

Scripture reading: Song of Solomon 4:1–9

Loved into Lovers

Kiss me—full on the mouth! Yes! For your love is better than wine. (Song of Songs 1:2, The Message)

 

At its most basic level, the Bible is a story of love and romance. Those who want to reduce its message to a set of doctrines and a code of ethics just don’t get it! God is the lover. Sinners like you and me are the pursued. Though we are unworthy and often distracted by our infatuation with other paramours, for some reason God just won’t give up. Like a handsome prince from the royal palace, he has fallen hopelessly in love with a peasant girl, a maiden in distress. That would be you!

Lovers communicate best through poetry. Prose can give us the facts, but romance needs the medium of poetry (spoken and sung) to convey the emotional depths of love. Ever since Miriam took up her tambourine to sing the Song of Redemption (Exodus 15:1–21), God’s people have looked to poetry to help them express the romantic wonder of being pursued by a God who loves them passionately and who is willing to go anywhere and give anything to prove the depth of his affection.

George Herbert (1593–1633) was one of the greatest writers of sacred verse in the English language. As an Anglican pastor, he discovered that sermons alone were inadequate to express the Gospel. His poetry enabled his congregation to respond to God’s grace with wonder, love and praise. One of his most famous poems is entitled simply “Love.” Find a quiet place today and get alone with your Heavenly Lover. Read this poem out loud. Then read it again . . . and again. Let these words help you to express the inexpressible. Perhaps this little exercise will help to melt the icy chill in your heart and enable you to love . . . even as you have been loved.

 

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in,

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning If I lack’d anything.

 

“A guest,” I answer’d, “worthy to be here”: Love said, “You shall be he.”

“I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear, I cannot look on Thee.”

Love took my hand, and smiling did reply, “Who made the eyes but I?”

 

“Truth, Lord, but I have marr’d them; let my shame Go where it doth deserve.”

“And know you not,” says Love, “Who bore the blame?” “My dear, then I will serve.”

“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.” So I did sit and eat.

 

Only when grace is recognized to be incomprehensible is it grace. —Karl Barth

 point to ponder Christianity is an intimate relationship with God more than it is a religion.

prayer focus For someone in your family, your social circle, your church— whom you sense feels unloved, that God would give you direction as to how you can be Jesus to him/her today.

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