Psalm 45 (also Song of Songs 2):
1 My heart is stirred by a noble theme
as I recite my verses for the king;
my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.
2 You are the most excellent of men
and your lips have been anointed with grace,
since God has blessed you forever.
3 Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one;
clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.
4 In your majesty ride forth victoriously
in the cause of truth, humility and justice;
let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.
5 Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies;
let the nations fall beneath your feet.
6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.
8 All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
from palaces adorned with ivory
the music of the strings makes you glad.
9 Daughters of kings are among your honored women;
at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir.
10 Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention:
Forget your people and your father’s house.
11 Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.
12 The city of Tyre will come with a gift,
people of wealth will seek your favor.
13 All glorious is the princess within her chamber;
her gown is interwoven with gold.
14 In embroidered garments she is led to the king;
her virgin companions follow her—
those brought to be with her.
15 Led in with joy and gladness,
they enter the palace of the king.
16 Your sons will take the place of your fathers;
you will make them princes throughout the land.
17 I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;
therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.
I am not married. I’m not even remotely close to being married. Why should someone like me relate to two scripture passages about weddings? While it’s true I don’t relate to marriage, I do know what it means to be terrified of change. I have grown up coming to St. Luke’s, and to say that it has changed my life is a great understatement. I found God here, built a relationship with him here and realized my calling to be a youth pastor here. St. Luke’s is my home, so that makes it even harder to go to college and find a new church home. College is definitely the biggest life change I have experienced, and, if I’m honest, I’m not sure I’m ready to leave home for that long, but scripture passages like these encourage me to lean into these times of change knowing that God is by my side through it all.
Both Psalm 45 and Song of Songs 2 are wedding songs. They illustrate the unification of two people and the changing from winter into spring. In my mind, the two people being unified as one are God and I. However, as marriages are something to enter into once two people have matured, I believe that the more I grow and mature, the closer I will get to God. Psalm 45 says, “Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king”. As I mature and show more fruits of the spirit such as joy in my daily life, my relationship with God will grow closer as I enter into a more intimate space with him and allow him to be a part of every area of my life.
I’ve heard from many people that college is a huge source of growth and maturity for people. While I’m terrified of it, I know that it will help me become closer with God if I’m open to it. That’s a great comfort to me in this time of change. I also love the depiction of winter changing into spring that Song of Songs 2 provides when it says, “See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land”. Yes, winter changing to spring is a big and drastic change, but it is also a beautiful change, bringing new birth to the whole world. In the same way, I remind myself through this scripture that God is not finished with me just because I transition out of going to St. Luke’s every Sunday. The best is yet to come. I’m also aware that I’m not the only one going through a season of change. The season we’re all in right now is something that none of us have ever experienced before, and, in this case, it’s pretty easy to compare it to a winter and wish for spring to come, but regardless of whether you anticipate change or dread it, we all need to solidify the idea that God is consistent through it all. Spring is beautiful, and I can’t wait to see what God has for us in it.
Hey God, I ask you to grow the fruit of your Spirit in our lives as you bring us closer into intimate space with you. I pray that you would be near us in transition and help us to take joy in the ways you are at work in the change. Amen.