"The voice of my beloved! Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." (Song of Solomon 2:8-13, NRSV).
A number of years ago RTE conducted a survey to find Ireland’s favourite painting and the result was “The meeting on the turret stairs” by Frederic William Burton which is one of the most popular paintings in the National Gallery despite the fact that because its rather delicate nature it is not actually on public display that often.
..... in the Song of Songs, we find ourselves in the ancient Jewish wedding festival. This is where these poems were originally read. They speak of the celebration of erotic love and of romantic longing. .......We should not be afraid of this part of ourselves. Calling it "evil" and suppressing it will not make it go away. Our sexuality is woven into the fabric of our being. The more we reject and suppress the sexual urge the more out-of-control it is likely to become.
God calls us into a relationship through Jesus Christ. "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." Can you believe you are beloved, honored, valued?
“My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready. I will sing, I will sing your praise. Awake my soul, awake lyre and harp, I will awake the dawn”.