Advent Reflections from a Young Married Man: From the Shepherd’s Rock to the Lover’s Couch

“In the coming weeks, I will post seventeen short Advent reflections on the Song of Songs 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.  My guiding question:

How does the birth of God’s Son transform the broken projects of struggling lovers into aspirations for soul mating.

Click here to read the general introduction:

1B: Song of Songs 1.7-17: From the Shepherd’s Rock to the Lover’s Couch

7. Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
where you pasture your flock,
where you make it lie down,
at noon;
for why should I be like one who
is veiled
beside the flocks of your
companions?
8. If you do not know,
O fairest among women,
follow the tracks of the flock,
and pasture your kids beside the shepherds’ tents.
9. I compare you, my love,
to a mare among Pharaoh’s
chariots.
10. Your cheeks are comely with
ornaments,
your neck with strings of jewels.
11. We will make you ornaments
of gold,
studded with silver.
12. While the king was on his couch,
my nard gave forth its
fragrance.
13. My beloved is to me a bag of myrrh
that lies between my breasts.
14. My beloved is to me a cluster of
henna blossoms
in the vineyards of En-gedi.
15. Ah, you are beautiful, my love;
ah, you are beautiful;
your eyes are doves.
16. Ah, you are beautiful, my
beloved,
truly lovely.
Our couch is green;
17. the beams of our house are
cedar,
our rafters are pine.

We often do not experience ourselves as studded lovers full of allure.  We most of the time feel like shepherds in fields keeping watch over their flocks by night.  Many lovers have felt the lonely chill of disappointing sunset, which follow on the heels of a hundred ordinary days.  Many frosted lovers fall asleep night after dark night hoping that their wounded glory might burst forth with the trump of heavenly hosts.

To grow beyond infatuation, young love takes courage and investment.  We must come to face our boring over inflated selves.  And we must learn patience in waiting for God’s time.  For God is busy attempting to turn us into lovers of great skill.  Yet, the gentle process of transformation never happens on our schedule.  And sometimes it comes like a burst of light and heavenly host as the universe points us to the One who works never tiring to change us into great givers and receivers of love.

Our journey to great Love begins on the path where the shepherd’s tracks lie.  For there we find the good news of great joy that a Savior has come not to whisk us away into the starry heavens but to help us discover what keeps us isolated under open skies and tattered roofs.

Life together is built under sturdy cedar beams with rafters of pine.   Under the fragrant beams of trust and grace lovers meet on couches to gaze into one another’s eyes with anticipation.  And the Saviour child is born in a manger, in between beams and rafters and lonely fields.  The path away from the shepherd’s rock to the lover’s couch travels through a manger and in between a warm family full of love where a sweet baby lay.

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