Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Song of Songs: "The most beautiful place in the world is the church of Christ"

Daniel Newman preaching on Song 4:1-5:1
"Christ feasts with his bride in the garden. This is not about me and my personal, private relationship with Christ. This is about the relationship between Christ and the church corporately. We drank wine with Christ and feasted with him at the Lord’s Supper. In the gathering of the church, we hear him speaking words of love to us as his word is read and preached and as we sing. Luther: ‘God meets us at trysting places’ We must take the church seriously"
MP3: Daniel Newman on Song of Songs 4:1-5:1
MP3: Daniel Newman on Song of Songs 5:2-6:3

There might be some obvious problem I'm missing here, but this sermon by Newman is yet another reason why I think you have to read it as a book on Christ and his bride.

My colleague Zac Wyse is rightly writing about the importance of local church membership - I can't help but think that Song of Songs holds a key to growing our affections for Christ's bride, and for wanting to be found in her, and an antitode to a Christianity that is just "me and Jesus" (which makes for an odd reading of The Song) to instead view ourselves as part of the bride loved by the Christ, and to love the Christ who the bride so adores.

See also the wise words of Adrian Reynolds on The Primacy of the Local Church