Tuesday, December 14, 2021

RETURN, RETURN!

Today’s┬áReading: Song of Solomon 4-6

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The Church of All Nations, also known as the Church or Basilica of the Agony, is a Roman Catholic church located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, next to the Garden of Gethsemane. It enshrines a section of bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed before His arrest (Mark 14:32-42). In the garden, there are some extremely old olive trees; perhaps they were there at the time of Christ. In 4:12a of today’s reading, the spouse is likened to a “garden enclosed.” This is a term of endearment indicating the exclusiveness of the marriage relationship. Here, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter began his human efforts to fight for Jesus, which ended in his denial of Jesus at the High Priest’s palace. For a brief time Jesus and his beloved Peter were separated, as were the “lovers” in today’s reading.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Song of Solomon 4:10

How fair is your love,

My sister, my spouse!

How much better than wine is your love,

And the scent of your perfumes

Than all spices!

 

Whether we read this poem as simply a love story between Solomon and the lovely Shulamite maiden, or a portrayal of the love between God and His people, we will not find a more tender and moving expression of love. The young woman, having missed her opportunity to welcome her beloved on his unexpected visit, goes out to search for him. Deep within her heart, she is certain of his love.

Could it be that we, who say we love God, do not respond to His presence immediately, and we miss the relationship He desires to have with us? Like the Shulamite we can search in many places for Him, but the message is clear in the last verse of our reading (6:13a): We are called to “Return, return…Return, return!” Let us return to the place where we first met Jesus, not to the physical location, but the place of repentance as did Peter after he had been challenged for the third time by a waitress in the courtyard of the High Priest (read Luke 22:47-62).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord, like the Shulamite, I realize that I don’t deserve Your love, but I also recognize that You have chosen to love me. Please forgive me for not responding instantly to Your presence and Your love. I pray for grace to learn to return and to remain constantly in Your presence. I thank You that You have promised to never leave me nor forsake me. I’ve read this Lord, both in Deuteronomy and quoted in Hebrews 13:5. I pray this in the Name of the One who said, “I am with you always,” the Lord Jesus, Himself, Amen!!! (Matthew 28:18-20).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I often have dreams like the Shulamite says in the song, “I sleep, but my heart is awake.” Her dream involved searching for her beloved, and of being beaten and wounded during her search (5:2-7). Like the woman in our reading, my heart seems to be awake first. Peter failed badly in his denial of knowing Jesus. His heart kicked in the moment his eyes locked with the eyes of Jesus. Often it’s my heart that kick-starts my brain, then my mind, in turn, ignites my will power and I correct my decisions and do the right thing!

Yours for the “return” to God of all who have known Him as children but have run far away, where they have been beaten and wounded,

David

3 thoughts on “Tuesday, December 14, 2021

  1. Again, from Michael Youssef, a reminder to keep our eyes on the One who loves us so much that He gave His own life for us:

    “At Christmas, we celebrate the Savior’s birth. The perfect, sinless Son of God came from heaven, lived a perfect life in the face of the same temptations we face, and died on the cross. He shed His blood and rose again on the third day to prove His power over death and sin, and through faith in His finished work, we can experience everlasting life that starts today and continues through eternity.”

    Lord God, thank You for giving Your all for us. Please open the doors which cannot prevail against Your church, so Your life-giving Word can go out freely all over this world. Give Your people boldness to share Your Gospel, and open people’s hearts to prepare room for You, Lord Jesus.

    “Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing …”

    I praise You, thank You, and implore You, dear Lord God, to be glorified throughout this world You came to save, in Jesus’s great name, amen

  2. Amen Rob: loved the reading you put on, also I enjoyed David’s comments on today’s scripture and his prayer. I Must remember that Jesus is always with us. even as we go through trials.
    God Blessings on everyone who reads this blog. Eleanor M.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.