By Rosie Wills
When I first read Song of Songs, at age 10, I didn’t get it. Isn’t it completely over the top? But when my brother first exchanged valentine’s day cards with his girlfriend, I could not believe the length of the message in that card! My brother, who I had never seen voluntarily write more than a few words, had written across both sides in tiny writing, as if he was trying to write a novel in there. I didn’t get to see what it said but I imagine after the first side he might have compared his girlfriend’s teeth to sheep, too.
What this taught me is that people in love are passionate – so much so that they don’t just want the other person to know about it, but they want the whole world to know. So when reading Song of Songs, it can feel a bit like intruding into someone’s intimate words for their loved one, but it can also feel like being the witness to a big public announcement of love. My mum says it’s a lot like the royal wedding that’s coming up!
Paul’s words on spiritual gifts have filled books, but what I take from them is that he tells us what the Holy Spirit looks like in the early church, in a very real, practical way. I like to think that he knew that some people were always going to want to ask questions like, “Why does my friend speak in tongues but I don’t? Why do some people fall down in the spirit?” and this is hands-on advice, I like that. And I love knowing that being part of the body of Christ means you don’t have to be good at everything! I have my little part to play, and maybe I’m not a very exciting part of the body – maybe I’m one of the knee caps? – but I’m not supposed to try to be the whole body at once! Next time I worry that I’m not very prophetic, or that no one I pray for gets healed, I just have to know that every spiritual gift comes from the same Spirit, and I just have my own part to work on, and if I don’t then the whole body misses out!