Friday night, during contemplative compline, we had as our text these verses from the Song of Solomon chapter 2:10-12 – the lover speaking to the beloved:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away,for behold,
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.”
It is a passage that has stayed with me. I have been reflecting on the words of this ‘the time for singing has come’… and thinking about the experiences of some of my friends just lately – the loss of a son, the loss of a job, another being physically attacked, and sister-inlaw going into hospital for routine surgery and ending up in ICU… our lives sometimes are full of pain.
And yet – the time for singing has come. Scripture tells us, in 1 Thessalonians: 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.
There is something powerful about turning away from ourselves and our circumstances, turning our faces heavenwards, and praising that source of all-being, Creator God. I recently became aware of the Mourner’s Kaddish – a Jewish prayer said at the time of loss. What struck me was its total acceptance that God is God and God is good…
May Your great name be blessed for ever and ever. Exalted and honoured, adored and acclaimed be Your name, O Holy One, blessed are You, whose glory transcends all praises, songs, and blessings voiced in the world, and let us say, Amen.
Our time on this earth will, sometimes be painful. And yet, we can call out to Creator God, in songs of lament and pain and yes, praise too, for just who HE is, the lover of our souls, the one that can make all things new.
God is with us always and in all ways, and welcomes us just as we are, whether singing songs of joy and celebration or singing deep psalms of lament. Draw near, with faith…