Scripture – vs. 1

“Kiss me—full on the mouth!

Yes! For your love is better than wine,

headier than your aromatic oils.

The syllables of your name murmur like a meadow brook.

No wonder everyone loves to say your name!”

Observation – Men rule, women are property. That is the context of the Middle East 3000 years ago to the present. YET, this book begins with a female voice commanding her partner to engage her romantically… yes, sexually! Scandal?

This opening line of this book was absolutely revolutionary and radical! Actually, the whole book is radical considering the context into which it appears. A woman has an equal voice to her male partner (a king no less!). You don’t find writings like this in other religions. If we read on, there is no hint of polygamy, but rather love and devotion of two equal lovers.

Application – Why would the Holy Scriptures include an adult only romance novel as one of 66 books? Why would the church call this book “wisdom literature?” Isn’t wisdom the application of truth in the everyday ordinary decisions of life?

It makes perfect sense that a whole book of the Bible be dedicated to lovers. Sexuality is of great interest to us all. Sexual relationships need to be elevated out of realm of power plays, pornography, lust and selfishness.  God is in the business of reconciliation and relationships.

Though we live in Canada where women and men have equal voice and polygamy has long been outlawed, there is still a lot of reconciliation to be realized around sexual relationships. There is much to learn from Song of Songs about mutual love, submission, romance, honour, integrity, and most importantly intimacy.

Prayer – God of wisdom, thank you for this radical book about lovers. Thank you for redeeming sexuality, for breaking the chains of inequality, dominance, power and lust. Open my heart, mind and actions to love as you call me to love.

Lloyd Letkeman

Lloyd is married to Carol and the two of them are Regional Mission Mobilizers – Prairie Region for Mennonite Bretheren Mission.