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Summary: My own vineyard is my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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My Own Vineyard

(Song of Solomon 1:1-6)

The text for this morning’s message is one most of us can identify with in one way or another. It reads in verse 6:

….they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept.

The Song of Solomon does not mention the name of God in its eight chapters; but is referred to as a series of love poems between a Shulamite girl and her beloved shepherd boy friend. Some of the most romantic and sensual verses in the Bible are found here as romantic images and fantasies are shared in verse. Some wonder why this book was included in the Bible but for the fact that the love expressed is something akin to the love Christ has for His Church or God’s love for Israel.

Early on in the first chapter we learn that the young bride to be has been made to work in the vineyards by her brothers. There under the hot sun and labor of the day she was not only heavily tanned but too overworked or too tired to keep up her own vineyard, like the

beautician too busy doing other women’s hair that she has no time to do her own or the

car mechanic too busy fixing other people’s cars that his own car goes neglected, and yes even the minister or care-giver so busy helping others that his or her own family are left wanting: …but my own vineyard I have not kept.

Isn’t that the tragedy that so often befalls our families and love relationships? How many

husbands here have been accused of working too much and not being home when needed. But so often without that extra work the bills would not get paid and the style of living would not be maintained. More often than not we may find ourselves working in the vineyards of life to satisfy the needs and desires of others rather than our self. Parents both working to send their children to college. Single moms working two jobs or long hours because the father is absent. Mistakes made in the

past that now must be paid for- not allowing a life of work and leisure, but work and

more work. Whatever the reason the end result is the same:

…but my own vineyard I have not kept

I speak of this matter just after Easter the day when our churches are fuller than usual and our hearts are ablaze with the triumphal cries of victory and new life over death promising hope for the future. In lovers’ terms our passions are strong and alive. But that was last Sunday, now only a week later the attendance is reduced, the energy and excitement of the day is lessened like the description of the church in Laodicea

you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, fit only to be spewed out of the angel’s mouth.

If the people of the Lord are not here in the Lord’s vineyard this morning are they not at work in other vineyards and would they not say if we were to ask them

why are you not here? Would they not respond as the young maiden of the Songs:

…I have been made the keeper of the vineyards at my house, at the mall, wherever,

but my own vineyard here at the house of God I have not kept.

-2-

I’m really not talking about the work we do physically but about the personal relationship we have with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Look at the daily labor

we perform to maintain our relationships with family and friends- how much of our time and effort is spent in these vineyards of human relationship we consider vital and important. But when it comes to the saving of my soul and where and how

I will spend eternity the love relationship that would seem most important

would be with God. If the chief end of man according to the church catechism is

“to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” are we not faced with the terrible

truth the young maiden has expressed:

….I have been made keeper of the vineyards; but my own vineyard with Jesus Christ my Savior I have not kept.

As you read through the Song of Solomon you sense the strong passion and feeling of the lovers for one another as the final verse of chapter eight concludes:

Make haste my beloved and be like a gazelle or a young stag upon the mountains of spices.

So is it intended to be for you and me with our Savior as we, the bride, the people of the church surrender our will to our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. It is a relationship of intensity

and passion for and with our Divine Lover who gave His life for us at Calvary and now has all authority in Heaven and on earth given to Him. He is willing and able to give us a peace that passes understanding unknown to the nonbeliever; and to give us

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