In our manufacturing age we have ordered life around what is productive and assume Jesus holds the same view. We may acknowledge that Jesus is passionate about us but we easily revert to a utilitarian view considering ourselves workers, valued for what we do.
In Song of Songs 4 the lover (Christ) passionately describes to the beloved (His people) how he sees her beauty.
1 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves …
The first things the lover describes when recounting the beloved’s beauty are her eyes, and how they express peace. This delight in character is in stark contrast to our presumption that Jesus’ favour is gained through our acts of worship or output.
8 Come with me from Lebanon … from the lions’ dens
The lover appeals to her to leave her home in the dangerous wilds of the north to be with him. She is not in a place conducive to depth of relationship, yet needs encouragement and coaxing.
9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride.
If we accept we are deeply loved maybe we will be ready to leave our ‘fun’ culture for the intimacies Jesus delights in.
16 Awake north wind … blow on my garden that its fragrance may spread abroad.
The woman, aroused by the expressions of love, desires for her influence to be spread around. She does not loudly proclaim it, but asks the Spirit to blow, spreading the unseen fragrance of Christ.