Hebrew Scripture: Song of Solomon 2:8-15
The voice of my beloved!
Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look, there he stands behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows,
looking through the lattice.
My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away;
for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
“Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
in the covert of the cliff, let me see your face,
let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.
“Catch us the foxes, the little foxes,
that ruin the vineyards–
for our vineyards are in blossom.”
Protect me, O God,
for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
As for the holy ones in the land,
they are the noble, in whom is all my delight.
Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names upon my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
I have a goodly heritage.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol,
or let your faithful one see the Pit.
You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
New Testament Epistle Lesson: Colossians 4:2-5
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.
Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.
Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.
Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.
Image credit: Language of Flowers By Alphonse Mucha, Plate 35 from Album de la Décoration, 1900, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.