828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Christian Formation for Sunday September 2 - Song of Solomon 2:8-13; Springtime Rhapsody

September 2, 2012, 14 Pentecost
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Springtime Rhapsody

Background: Song of Solomon, also known as Song of Songs, is a unique type of book in the Bible. This book is explicitly a description of human love and makes no overt mention of God. The book, like Proverbs and Ecclesiastes is attributed to Solomon, the archetype of wisdom and love in Hebrew Scripture.

Theme: This passage appears to be akin to a love dialog. It can be likened to a dialog between lovers where they are unable to be together and one lover’s call to the other to come closer. This passage may also be viewed as a revelation between lovers sharing a childlike and playful sense of hide-and-seek.

Questions to Ponder

* Skim the entire book of Song of Solomon for context and tone.

* Why might this book be associated with Solomon?

* Why might a book like Song of Solomon be included in the Canon of Scripture (those scripture that are included as authoritative in Jewish and/or Christian perspective)?

* Who do you think the two voices are in this passage; the first from verse 8 through 10a, the second from 10b through 13?

* How would you describe the imagery of “the beloved” in the opening portion of the poem? Does the imagery evoke a masculine or feminine image? Who might the beloved in this section be?

* Do you think it would be probable for the “masculine” lover to be synonymous with God and the “feminine” beloved to be Israel? If that were the case how might that affect the interpretation of the passage?

* What might the significance be of the reference to “the winter being past and the rain is over and gone” in verse 11?

* This passage and the entire book, Song of Solomon, is often read before Sabbath of the Passover holiday; what might the significance of this passage be for that setting?

* How might this passage be important for Christians living in the 21st century? How can this passage help Christians keep an appropriate connection with God?

* For what purpose might the Song of Solomon be normative with regard to Christian relationships?

* If this passage is an example of appropriate interpersonal love, how might it shape our understanding of the “goodness” of the emotional (sexual, erotic, etc.) relationship of mutual love and affection? Would this affection apply in all cases not simply to the love of God but also for all God’s creation?

* How might this passage steer St. John’s in the development of community relations and a definition of ministry in the world?

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