This Term at St. Mark’s we are considering the Song of Songs, a collection of love poetry in the Old Testament. This is a book that has a lot of joyful and exuberant celebrations of love and the enjoyment that romance can bring, and we see in it an image of the love that God has for us and we can have for him. However, there are also moments in the Song of Songs that acknowledge some of the painful moments of a relationship, including the pain of separation and not being with the one we love. This week we are thinking about how to interpret the times when we experience that God is absent from our hearts and we don’t feel his love. Even Jesus experienced this as he went to the cross, the feeling that his Father had ‘forsaken’ him. The deep truth that the Song of Songs reveals is that this might be part of how we learn to love more truthfully and deeply. Can we move forward from immaturity, and learn to love God for himself and not just for the things that he gives us?