Where can the perfect man be found? Even if he could be found, how can He be enjoyed in a world that is not secure?
We may not be aware of it, and we may not want to admit it, but in our heart of hearts we are dreaming about heaven and we are hoping for a perfect love that will never go away. We are looking for a new time that is the grand finale of history. We are looking for a new place, where the stain of loss is unknown. But heaven is not just a new age to come, and a new place of life. It is a Person, a Man who is the King, in whom we find ourselves to be all that we were created to be.
Back in the days of life under the sun, when it was night, the lily, the rose, the great love of the Song of Solomon had a dream. Her soul was longing for her lover. She looked not for a future age or for a better place. She looked for him, for the man who was the one. She searched for him, but she seemed unable to find him.
In her dream she went out among the people of the kingdom, in that great city that should be holy, that Jerusalem below. She went to those who were leaders in the city, the watchmen. Of all the people living on the earth, these appointed leaders of the Lord’s nation should have been the experts at pointing to the great Man of heaven. She was bold in her request for this man of her dreams, but the watchmen of Israel were of little help to her.
Then she suddenly found him. She held him close like a woman who has recovered her love back from the dead and is now afraid that he could be gone again in just a moment. The world of dreams is not secure. We need a world that is real.
She sought to steal away the one she had found, to bring him back to her mother’s home. She does not seem to have her earlier confidence that comes from heavenly love. Earlier she was bold in her words and actions. Now she is unsettled, as one awakened in her love for the best of all men, yet with fear. She feels that her hold on him is tenuous. She senses that she has the one she wants but that she will not be able to keep him, and that if he goes, she may lose him forever.
This is the difficulty of love in this world. Even the best love can be lost. How can we ever feel safe without some true security that would guarantee a love and a life that would last beyond our few brief years here below?
But now, we see something new. Is this still a dream? She sees her great king coming up from the wilderness. Like the presence of God in the cloud and the fire, this traveling hero is a Solomon, like the Son of God, the beloved of the Father. He is a glorious man surrounded by his servants. Yes, he is like God in heaven with his angels and his holy people all around him, perfect in strength and frightening in power. He travels in a glorious chariot as the Lord Himself does in the Jerusalem that is above.
Look at its posts of silver and its back of gold. What a great king sits on this lush throne of purple. Every detail has been lovingly attended to by his many admirers. He is surrounded by all that is lofty and majestic. Is he a living God? He has a crown. What would it be like to be the love of his life? Could anyone make such a great man truly happy? What would make his heart glad?
Life here below has a way of waking us up. We rub our eyes, curse the morning, and forget that we were made for glory. If we long for the age to come, for heaven, and for Jesus, we may fear that we are going to be exposed for our foolishness, either now, or at some future time. We are at least as likely to have thoughts that are nightmares as we are to have hopes of glory. We are afraid to dream.
But now in Christ, God has awoken our imagination. We have not seen the coming age, or the new land, but there is no doubt that we have seen the Man. He has the power of heaven in His hands. This is the one who died and rose again. His death was like a nightmare to those who were hoping that He was the King of Israel. His resurrection was a dream come true, the beginning of a new age and a new world.
He is the Man of our dreams. Everything will be all right. This Man from heaven, this Man of the age to come, He is God, and He is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine. Dream on! Your Jesus makes dreams come true, and He truly loves you.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord Almighty, we are seeking the One whom our soul loves. Where is Jesus today? If we could find Him, we would hold Him and not let Him go. Now He comes to us in Word and sacrament, for we worship Him in covenant assembly. We bow before Him. Will we one day look upon our glorious Savior, crowned in majesty, and seated at Your right hand?