Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
all the wealth of one’s house,
it would be utterly scorned.
Song of Songs 8.6,7
The Hebrew and Christian Scriptures celebrate and affirm many forms of love. Human love and romance, physical passion and sexuality, have a part as much as 'spiritual' love, or 'familial love'.
There is no one-size-fits-all of human loving. What is important is loving.
Passion is good
Attraction is good
Bodies are good
Sex is good
Intimacy assists with creating a love which is built up and tended into a fire that continues to burn whatever the circumstances around it are. That love which allows us to be ourselves in the presence of another. That love where one gives of themselves to another, and they are built up together.
The well-deserved reputation of the church is that it has been censorious, moralistic, and negative when it comes to bodies and sex. Yet our Scriptures tell a different and diverse story when it comes to emotional, physical, and sexual connection. It is a part of who we are, and we all express our love in different ways. For the asexual and celibate there are different ways of connecting and different ways of being. But a part of the lives of many people is longing for emotional and physical connection.
Love is embodied. That embodiment may be in our romantic and physical connection, it may be in our work for justice, it may be in our acts of service. We are invited to a sensous, intimate, celebratory faith where love is expressed in many and diverse ways.
O God, whom no image can encompass, no definition encircle, and yet who meets us in the gentle touch of love, the beauty of a butterfly's wing, and the laughter of children, help us to move beyond our attempts to limit You, intellectualize You, or to eliminate You from all that is earthy, sensuous, or vibrant, so that we may greet You in every particle of this spectacular universe which You are creating. Amen.