Right about Romance

vineyard and pomegranate

“Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vine has budded, if the blossom has opened, if the pomegranates are in bloom—there I will give you my love”

Song of Songs 7:12

This seems very forward. There is deep familiarity there, and deep trust. The woman wants to go back to the vineyards to see if there is to be any fruit there. The blossom is the forerunner of the fruit, and if the blossom is out, there is fruit to come. She especially singles out the pomegranate, a fruit of luxury and opulence, full of sweetness and promise. They have spent the night in the fields in the open country and now it is time to seek the sustenance of the vineyards, the restfulness of the green plants, and the sustainance of the fruit. They are living of the land and living of love.

She goes with her beloved everywhere, and will not be parted from him. She seeks refuge, love and refreshment with him, and is content with him alone. So also the Christian and so should also the church seeks Christ alone, knowing Him in the power of His resurrection. If we seek another love, life becomes problematic and we often bring many difficulties on ourselves. If the church seeks other strategies rather than Christ, or alongside Christ, it will come to nothing. The Christian is happy in Christ and with Christ. His power alone is what saves and keep us and will sustain our love right to the end, until we see His face. Other loves create dilemmas and situations that have to be sorted out. This is human society.

We need other people, so it behoves us to choose carefully who we want to speak to and share with. It should be people who will do us good, like the Lord does us good.

We care for each other as this woman cares about the plants she has tended and wants them to flourish. We care about the burdens other people bear and seek to help them. God gives to each of His people a ministry in well doing and we should pursue it. No token gestures and one off grand flourishes, but a commitment to help other and the body of Christ will grow and flourish. Without this we will fade away and become less and less.

Without Christ, our true love, we face away and die. Unless He should claim us, we remain alone all our lives, and we never experience the reality of true love. Unless the Beloved takes the beloved woman as his own, there will be no relationship and no love will take hold. Unless the woman is ready for him when he calls to her, then she will miss the opportunity and no love will be true. This cannot be, since love wins the day and Christ will have His church. The longer the reunion of Christ and the church goes on, so the agony of waiting grows. The longing for the great consumption day becomes unbearable and the features of the life of this world become less and less and we loose attraction for it. We long for Christ and to be with Him, which is far better.

“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

Psalm 63:1

Every soul that belongs to God has this longing. It is forever satisfied in Jesus Christ and He walks with the believer every day and restores them continually. It is a true love story and has a glorious ending. This is the destiny of all who believe.

“Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

John 4:13-14

This is the true, all-encompassing love of Christ that wells up in the life of the Christian as a well of living water, even the fruit of the Holy Spirit, that strengthens and emboldens us to persevere and grow in our faith. Passion for Jesus also grows and we seek Him diligently and continually. His presence is all we seek. We seek the intimacy of the vineyard and there we give Him our love. Love so strong and deep that nothing and no one can come between us and a passion so great that nothing is counted as worthy, except knowing Him.

“But whatever was gain to me I count as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Philippians 3:7-11

This is the passion of the true believer and the true love. To count everything as a loss compared to the gain for the love of the Beloved, is a recklessness that is sanctified to God and will not go unrewarded or unfulfilled. The consummation is coming and so we remains faithful to the end that we will receive our hearts desire and eternal continuance of the love story.

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