READ : Song of Solomon 8:1-5
O that you were like a brother to me, who nursed at my mother’s breast! (v. 1)
The imagery of this section is startling in its depiction of sexual intimacy in marriage. And it prompts me to pray for the preservation of all Christian marriages this way, “O God, grant that those who have committed themselves in Christ may live faithfully together in the bonds of marriage with joy and intimacy.”
But on another level, and consistent with the way we have been viewing the Song of Solomon, it causes me to probe my soul to see if this capacity for love for God is within me. Listen to this witness from Augustine of Hippo, one of the most important framers of the theology of the early church. Augustine confesses to God, “Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you … You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.” What did the early Christians know that we don’t? Perhaps that God wants our hearts as well as our heads.
O, that you were like a brother to us, Lord Jesus.