How serious do our friends think we are about God? When they see our pursuit of God, are they encouraged to join the pursuit, or do they roll their eyes and dismiss our foolishness?
Song of Songs 5 tells of how the beloved, symbolically a believer or the Church, is in bed when her lover, Christ comes to the door and knocks. The beloved however is comfortable and does not want to get up to answer the door. This seems to speak of our culture, so comfortable in its Christianity that Jesus is treated as a commodity to call on at our convenience.
The passage relates how, after the persistent knock of the lover, the beloved’s desire is finally aroused. She goes to let him in, only to find that he has given up and left. What a prospect for us, the discovery that Jesus is not there whenever we want Him!
The beloved goes out into the night looking for her lover only to be abused by the night watchmen. She suffers for her complacency, yet through this time in darkness and distress she realises how much she misses her lover. She humbles herself and asks her friends to help her find him. Having seen her complacency in the relationship, they are far from convinced that He is worth pursuing. She sings out praises for her lover; they change their attitude and join her seeking him.
The return begins with loss. It is developed through costly pursuit and humbly acknowledging to outsiders the truth that she has lost him. It is completed through worship.