Daily Devotional for Small Group Discussion: Come Away with Me
- Have you ever thought of God as your beloved, or of yourself as God’s beloved? How might that shape your experience of the Holy?
- What would it mean for you to let God love you? What might that look like, and how would it feel?
- When you hear the phrase “arise, and come away,” where do you want to go?
My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away, for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come. … Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” – Song of Solomon 2:10-13 (NRSV)
Maybe you, like me, have at present no earthly beloved to gather you in their arms and spirit you away to an enchanted love nest.
Maybe you, like me, are both surprised and thrilled to find the ancient equivalent of a bodice ripper embedded in our sacred scriptures. Good is the flesh and all that.
And, yes, we can also read the love-dovey Song of Songs as an allegory of God’s love for us. God is, in fact, our beloved, and we are God’s. So I bid you—be you unhappily un-partnered, happily single, pleasantly partnered, or madly in love—to consider this as God’s invitation to you:
Come away, my love. Rest your body. Renew your soul. Let me love you. Delight in the beauty and nurture of my creation, the first-ever love language. Let joy overtake you, and song fill you.
By the time you read this, I hope to be doing just that: vacationing in a teeny-tiny rental with a fabulous view of one of my many favorite places.
I hope you, too, will let God’s love carry you away this summer to someplace special—even to the welcoming, nurturing spaciousness of God’s heart. Let the mutual loving continue and the joyful singing begin.
Open my heart to respond to your call, O Beloved. May I arise and follow you to wherever love leads.
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.