Thursday, November 3, 2011

Theology Thursday: Dwelling in Christ's Wounds

I had the notion that, once a week or so, I might share a quotation from something I've been reading-- something that's especially touched my heart as well as my mind. I'm sure I won't be at all consistent about this, and that, on the weeks I do manage to post something, half the time it will not actually be Thursday! At any rate, I'll keep you guessing. :-)


This week, I've been reading some of the sermons of Samuel Rutherford (1600ish-1661), a Scottish Presbyterian minister. If you are not familiar with Rutherford's writings, you should be! But I'll leave you to Google if you are so inclined. For now, an excerpt from his 1630 sermon, "Christ and the Dove's Heavenly Salutations," preached at the little parish of Anwoth, in the southwest of Scotland.

Rutherford is preaching on Song of Solomon 2:14: "O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely."
Allegorically, he interprets the dove as the church (us), and the clefts of the rock as the wounds of Christ, in which we dwell by faith:

God has made holes and windows in Christ that his Doves may flee into, and make their nest in his Heart. O Dear and Precious Dwelling; The Lodging cost us nothing, yet we are desired to dwell in it. Now what is Christ's Petition? Cause Me to hear thy Voice. It's ordinary for man to beg from God, for we be but his beggars; but it is a miracle to see God beg at man; yet here is the Potter begging from the clay; the Saviour seeking from sinners. [What does he ask?] It must be some Great Thing; it is even a sight of his Bride; He is even saying to her, "My dear Spouse, be kind to Me, let me see thy Face; be not [bashful] and wavering; be plain with me, your Husband; tell me all your mind in Prayer, I delight to hear your lisping and hisping and speaking to me in Prayer." Ye may see all the wooing comes on Christ's side of it; she cannot hold up her face, or let one love-blink on Christ, but as He commands her, and wakens her up...

Have you ever thought of yourself as dwelling in Jesus' heart? Or that he passionately delights to look on you and hear your prayers? Rutherford portrays Christ as being the one who "woos" us, who longs for us and pursues us, before we have the ability to cling to Him, or even lift our eyes to Him.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this, Sarah! The imagery here reminds me a bit of George Herbert's "The Bag," too. (Not the same, but interesting similarities.)