Poetry is one of the few things I do not care to read. There are poems that I love, but poetry in general is not my thing. And none of my favorite poems really fit with the love and reading theme I’ve been working on these past weeks. I will admit that for a while my favorite poetry book was The Handbook of Heartbreak: 101 Poems of Lost Love and Sorrow. Yeah, not quite the right tone for a Valentine’s Day post.
So instead I’m sharing my two favorite scripture passages on love:
From Song of Songs:
Hark! my lover-here he comes
springing across the mountains,
leaping across the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Here he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattices.
My lover speaks; he says to me,
“Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
“For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
“O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you,
let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet,
and you are lovely.”
My lover belongs to me and I to him.
He said to me:
Set me as a seal on your heart,
as a seal on your arm;
For stern as death is love,
relentless as the nether world is devotion;
its flames are a blazing fire.
Deep waters cannot quench love,
nor floods sweep it away.
Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16a; 8:6-7a (NAB)
From 1 Corinthians:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a (NAB)
Happy Valentine’s Day!