Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in labor with you; there she who bore you was in labor.
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned.
Song of Songs 8:5-7
I was trying to figure out how I was going to conclude our study of the Song of Songs this morning. It has been an interesting few weeks. I feared I left myself nowhere to go after last week’s bacon, sex, love story, and God sermon. Really, where can you go after that? I sought help from my preacher colleagues.
Some gave me beautiful exegetical lenses of our bodies being the storyboard of life. Our lives mark and fashion our bodies as life happens. Our stories are scored like some kind of vinyl record to be played upon exit from this world. I like the idea of our bodies as a vehicle of sharing our stories.
Other colleagues directed me to take care of myself and rest. I have been rather tired. I have felt like overwhelmed at times by this summer. So I heeded their advice and nap upon the sofa. I found myself watching cartoons. I loved cartoons as a child. I especially loved those Japanese cartoons that were recycled in the States about robots, monsters, mechs, and invaders. Cartoons like Robotech, Battle of the Planets, Tranzor Z, and Voltron.
VOLTRON! The green lion (left arm), red lion (right arm), yellow lion (left leg), blue lion (right leg), and the black lion (the chest). Voltron was made of 5 individual parts that came together to for a powerful defender of the universe. The separate parts were strong in their own right but together they wielded an awesome energy sword. I am not suggesting that we ought to wield an energy sword or anything. I am suggesting that we are better together as one then we are as individuals. I will seek to connect the past few sermons in to one powerful weapon of God’s love.
For the past few weeks we have wrestled with the Song of Songs. That delectable little book of love, intrigue, and desire. We explored the passionate banter between a couple that hungers for each others presence and heard the testimony of their closest friends as their love challenges the worlds norms.
Green Lion (left arm). We began with, “You are more beautiful than you imagine.” We learned that our beauty is a reflection of who we are as Gods beloved creatures. That beauty is our fearfully and wonderfully made inheritance as children of God. The Song of Songs offers us a portrait love that celebrates the body. We explored the Song of Songs and felt the fully realized passion, identity, expression, wholeness, and beauty of our bodies. We discovered that these mortal coils are more than reflections of dominate culture bound in violated images of God. We learned that our bodies are the liberated reminders of the courage we are imbued with to unmask the idols of culture and faith and live in to the sacred call of Christ, to love and be peace in this world.
Red lion (right arm). We explored three different perspectives of beauty given to us in scripture. The first is passionate and representative of the human spirit. It challenges the law and demands to be noticed. The second is calm and peaceful. It is patient and kind. It sooths quietly and demands little. The third is demanding and representative of works. It is practical and abides by the law. They all describe beauty none the less.
Yellow lion (left leg). We celebrated that the body matters. The body being your body, our bodies, and the Body of Jesus the Christ. The body matters in the face of injustice all the more. It matters because there are two kingdoms. US & Them, The Haves and the Have Not’s. Those in power like to define the conversation as a have and have not. Power likes to deny the tined color bias that segregates the nation in to “US” and “THEM.” US gets to define the rules and cries foul when THEM gets nearer to justice.
Blue lion (right leg). Our bodies store the love found in the Song of Songs and this enhances the daily experience of life. This love does not merely add value to life. It makes life worth living. This love penetrates the deepest level of ones soul and inhabits that primal place of our being. This love is the intimate encounter of Creator and creation. Words of description pale in its encounter. They may speak of it but may never exhaust the passion and desperate nature of ones longing for this love. For this is the love of beginnings. The love of peace. The love of compassion. The love of God.
We have all the appendages and now only need the body. The black lion (the chest) holds it all together. What could hold it all together? Our beautiful reflection, our diversity of beauty, our bodies as vehicles of liberation, and our bodies as storehouses of Gods love…what could hold it all together?
Jesus. Jesus the Christ is our black lion.
Last week we ended with, “Are we afraid of an intimate God? Jesus is that intimate God. The God that lovingly called out to us to come and follow him. Knowing that following him would cost us everything, Jesus beckons us to a new way. Jesus bears the anger and woe of the world. Jesus aches for us to be near him.
Jesus holds it all together. Jesus is not the end of our story. He is just the beginning.