Thursday, July 2, 2009

Two words for the marriage bed

Upon reading today's readings in High Callling, I saw something wonderful in the Ten Commandments, which to the Jews were known as the Ten Words. Although it does read like a list of do's and don't, the spirit of the Ten is so much more than that. Given a choice, most of us today choose Jesus' words, the New Testament's Two Commandments, about loving God with our whole minds, hearts, soul, and strength, and then, our neighbors as ourselves. The New Testament commands just seem, less complicated and well, more..loving? I reread both the Ten and the Two word versions. I saw that both are centered on love, both are invitations to an intimate life of love. One seems warmer, more romantic, like a marriage proposal, while the the other, businesslike, dogmatic, like a premarital contract. However, the purpose of both are the same, to keep the relationship exclusive and vital. This relationship is likened to the love of a marriage bed, which is well described in The Song of Soloman, of the Old Testament. This song has at least three interpretations. The one I refer to here describes the intimacy between the soul and God's Spirit, as two lovers of the one marriage bed. The bed where the Spirit intercourses with the soul, is the world we live in, life as we know it. This is where He meets us. Real love yearns for union and desires the highest good for the other. Each is lover and each, beloved. Clearly, the Creator who makes the first move, finds His beloved and woos her relentlessly. So the courting begins. When she gets to know Him, He asks her for full commitment. He longs for her to say yes, with her whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Such commitment is like a vow of marriage, the setting of boundaries. Boundaries are set to protect the precious love so that it may grow upwards, just like the little garden fence I bought from the nursery may keep my wandering lilies straight and rising high. I did this because they bring me joy, and I intend for them to thrive and show off their beauty. So He does with us, His lilies of this valley. He intends us to thrive under His life-giving commandments. Our Husband is jealous of our straying into lesser gardens and the possibility of our losing the way to Paradise. Rather than a deadening list of do's and don'ts, those Ten Commandments are, in fact, Ten Signs of love, clearly condensed by the two requests of Christ, as He reminds His bride of the exclusiveness required of the marriage bed, to which we are invited to give all of ourselves, first , to Him and second, to others. As the Great Lover of Life, He presses us, body and soul, close to His Spirit, loving us through the night into another bright day.
Wanted to share a wonderful site with you, This is where I get my daily devotional through email. It is a strong Christian site that highlights how to live our faith in the workplace, whatever that workplace may be for you. Mine is around the neighborhood as an unpaid unprofessional wannabe writer, designer, artist, and a real life nonni, wife, mother, friend,daughter-caregiver, prayer partner, ex-educator, and occasionally some other roles I cannot remember right now.
Enjoy the many facets of this contemporary relevant website. .

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