The Song In the Garden

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Bulletin: October 28, 2018

NewsletterOctober 2018

ScripturesSong of Songs 4:9-5:1Psalm 84Luke 13:18-19


Joel Russell-MacLean

“And everywhere there was song and celebration … and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden”*

What is the best song in the Bible? According to God’s word it is the “The Song of Songs”: the songs of two lovers celebrating love, longing, and delight in each other in explicit, physical, sexual language.

Many gender stereotypes past and present disappear. The woman sings as the equal of the man, and equally directs and celebrates their love.

Their love is compared to a garden. We can’t help but think of Eden reading this story. This greatest of songs takes us back to the garden but not in an “anything goes/free love” kind of way.

We can only say it is a song about sex if we let the song redefine sex for us. There is no focus on sex itself. There is no self-gratification here. Over and over again, one lover is delighting in the other. There is no moving from one person to a new lover. They belong to each other. But the lovers do not sing alone, the neighbourhood itself joins in the chorus. Everyone is blessed by this relationship.

*Joni Mitchell (My favourite is the CSN&Y cover)

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