Advent Reflections from a Young Married Man: on Song of Songs

The birth of a human baby might be the most powerful event in our universe.  From consummation to birthing, the drama of human love swirls behind sacred and erotic forces.  But, as we behold the birth of God’s son, we do not usually dwell in the Song of Songs. Why is this?

The Church for 2000 years has set aside Advent as the time to contemplate and anticipate the virgin birth.  Jesus came to us as a swaddled baby born, as John says,  “not from a husband’s will.”  Yet, the story of this Son of Man was never meant to strip mine us from our earthy life.  It was never meant to transform each into a holy virgin.  Quite the opposite.  The Nativity reminds us that our creator God enters into this world amidst our political and personal struggles. A baby lifts us now, here among us, into realms of love we are unable to muster.

We cannot wield our eros bending it towards our will.  The author of the Song knows this:

Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.  It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.  Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.

Advent reminds us that our human eros can be transformed.  And when love is linked with life, the miracle of birth guides us beyond cheap ecstasy into deep oceans of abandon and union.

I believe the Song is written as a story of a courting or engaged couple, their marriage, and their journey into the depths of love.  It is no wonder the church has seen images echoing God’s love story with humanity.  I sense it is both and ask this guiding question: How does the birth of God’s Son transform the broken projects of struggling lovers into inspirations for soul mating.

So, in the coming weeks, you will find here seventeen short Advent reflections from a young man learning to be a lover and a husband, who at the same time struggles to plant his worth as the beloved Bride of Christ.