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Opening THE Book 25 with Rev John K-S


Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church

Last month we looked at a short book tucked away in the middle of the Old Testament: The Book of Ruth and its message that being part of God’s kingdom family is decided not by blood and birth, but by true devotion of one’s life to the will of God
This month, writing six weeks into the coronavirus pandemic, we will reflect upon God’s passionate love for his children and his will “that they might have abundant life in all its fullness” (John’s Gospel chapter 10 verse 10). As we have learned over past months, the Bible teaches that this has been God’s will from the very beginning; but human beings, through their free will, have chosen a different course which has resulted in the ills and misery and suffering of history
 One part of “fullness of life” is in human relationships and the Bible teaches that, within human relationships, one relationship is unique and special – that between a man and a woman. Part of that unique and special relationship is the joyful expression and fulfilment of our sexuality. The Christian Church has had a rather poor reputation when it comes to ‘sex’. But any careful reading of the Bible makes it clear that our sexuality is God-given and something to rejoice in and to be enjoyed
Tucked away in the middle of the Old Testament is a very short book called The Song of Songs (sometimes known as The Song of Solomon because the book is attributed to King Solomon). This book is a collection of love poems, mostly addressed by a man and a woman to each other. These songs have often been interpreted by Jews as a picture of the relationship between God and his people, and by Christians as a picture of the relationship between Jesus and the Church

However, this book is first and foremost an expression of the joy of love between a man and a woman and in many places is explicitly erotic. But the sexual passion is expressed wholly within a loving relationship of complete faithfulness. Some of the metaphors (“breasts like gazelles” and “thighs like columns of alabaster”) will make you smile! But at this very difficult time in the affairs of people and nations – read and enjoy

as published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine


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