Time for Beauty
Take time now to pray and give God your thanks for the great beauty that is all around you.
Read SONG OF SONGS 1:12-2:7
Beloved While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.  My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.  My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. Lover How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. Beloved How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant. Lover The beams of our house are cedars; our rafters are firs. Beloved I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Lover Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens. Beloved Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.  He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.  Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.  His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.  Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat caution or warning is given here?
We don’t know the exact date when these words were written but you can be sure that if they had come out of Britain during that time the language would have been very different, with rain, hill forts, woolly hats, kilts, more rain, farming, druids, barrow mounds—and still more rain! I know where I’d rather be. Entering this song is like walking into a Biodome. On a wet day, cocooned among the lush plants, you could believe you were in another world. Eden is the right word to describe it. After all the failures of Genesis and the fighting of Joshua, after all the chronicles and sins of Kings, just before we reach the frosted tongue of the prophets, the warmth and ambience of the Song of Songs captures once more the spirit of Eden. Jesus picks up on that same carefree spirit in Matthew 6:25-34 as he encourages us to see the love of God and beauty all around us. Wild flowers and sparrows may not live long, but we are loved with an everlasting love that refreshes and restores us (Zeph. 3:17)—on vacation and every day.
Recall some of the aspects of God’s creation that are most beautiful to you and thank God for each of them.
Creator God, creator of Eden and all that is beautiful, I thank You and ask for a spirit of open-eyed wonder today.