A Weekly Newsletter
Thought for the Week
My beloved is mine and I am his... - Song of Songs 2:16a
The Bible is not just a single book. It is a library of texts. It's got just about everything. You want history? Read Kings or Chronicles. Poetry? Psalms. For action and adventure, definitely look at Joshua and Judges. There are plenty of miracles, stories of oppression and vindication, great battles, and at least one cataclysmic vision.
It also has romance. We may find characters throughout the Bible who may qualify as having "romantic" stories, Ruth for example, but most of those stories are contained within some larger narrative. Regardless, all of those stories pale in comparison with the Song of Songs (sometimes called the Song of Solomon). This is an unashamed romance stuck right in the middle of our Bible.
While this book has plenty of critics, I personally think it is awesome that the book has remained in the canon. It has been analyzed and allegorized for thousands of years. For some, it is a story of the church's relationship with God. For others, it is just trashy, something that doesn't belong in with the rest of Scripture.
Unique in the Bible, Song of Songs invites us to hear the voices of both partners. They tell us about their relationship in their own words. They tell us what they love about each other. The young woman shares her thoughts and memories with the "daughters of Jerusalem" who rejoice in her happiness. Their outpouring of joy in one another is infectious.
Song of Songs certainly seems out of place in our Scripture and in our modern day. In all fairness, if someone compared you to a flock of goats, sheep, or gazelles, you would probably have very few complimentary words to share with them. Cultural differences aside, we aren't always sure what to do with the book. Think about it: how many times have you heard a pastor preach on this book?
But, eros (romantic love) is an important part of human life and it is the central theme of Song of Songs. And, as one of the oldest testaments to the whole human existence, the Bible certainly needs a poem celebrating a happy romance. In fact, I would venture that it would be incomplete without one.
What we are really missing when we skip over Song of Songs is the importance of relationship. In fact, regardless of genre, the underlying thread that weaves through every story in the Bible is relationship. The authors talk about national relationships, community relationships, church relationships, friendships, marriages, and relationships with God. Additionally, they emphasize healthy and productive relationships. When the people are in a good relationships with God and each other, good things happen in the world. When they fall our of relationships, they go through some bad times.
They may have looked different in the ancient Middle East but healthy relationships are just as important to us today. We love weddings, we celebrate anniversaries - both big and small. Americans spend around $17.6 BILLION on Valentine's Day every year. We love love! And, really, things haven't changed too much since the Old Testament: when we are in good relationships, our life is better. When our relationships are damaged, we feel as though things are falling apart. What an incredible comfort to find the same experiences in the Scripture that helps define our identity as Christians!
I hope that you take time to celebrate your spouse, significant other, partner every day, not just Valentine's Day and that all of your relationships bring you good health, deep love, and a surplus of joy!
Sunday Morning Schedule
- Middle School Sunday School, 9:15 AM (Youth Room)
- High School Sunday School, 9:15 AM (Youth Room)
- Confirmation, 9:15 AM (Room 102)
- Contemporary Worship, 11:00 AM (Sanctuary)
Sunday Evening Schedule
- Middle School Youth Group, 5:00 PM (Youth Room)
- High School Youth Group, 7:00 PM (Youth Room)
Wednesday Evening Schedule
- Youth Gathering, 7:00 PM (Youth Room)
The #30SecondBible Series
Or, it would, if you didn't have this exciting new project!
Every day in Lent, the site 30 Seconds or Less is publishing a 30 second talk on a book of the bible. Each recording will contain a summary and a reflection on the book's contents by Christian pastors, theologians, and scholars (including a seminary friend of mine! Shameless plug).
By this point, they're already up to Ezra-Nehemiah!
Check out the video linked below for a clip about Judges!
February: Teen Dating Safety Month
February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. This month - and every month - we encourage you to learn about the signs of dating violence and the networks that are in place to help you or your friends. The advocates at Love is Respect have a lot of resources for people of all ages to use in combating dating violence.
If you, or someone you know, are experiencing any of the warning signs of dating abuse, please reach out to a trusted mandated reporter (teacher, pastor, counselor) or law enforcement. If you aren't sure what steps to take, click the first two links to see a list of resources.
Always remember, you are not alone.
You can find the devotionals in Hassler Chapel.
All programs will run from 7:00-8:00 PM.
We are exploring Rob Bell's video series Nooma and enjoying some mid-week fellowship!
Youth Program of Media Presbyterian Church
The Youth Ministry programs at MPC has long been a place that welcomes teenagers to embrace their questions and their struggles with faith in a healthy and safe environment.
The Youth Program is led by Ms. Liz Remelius, Director of Youth Ministries. Liz nurtures a deep love of education and believes that there is "a divine beauty in learning." She hopes that anyone who participates in MPC's Youth Ministry will be equipped to ask questions, search for answers, and turn that knowledge into action, both in the Church and the world.