Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
by: Casey Korstanje
Song of Solomon 2:10–13 (ESV)  My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,  for behold, 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 ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
I don’t mind Christmas movies. You know, the Hallmark kind with predictable plots. Girl meets boy. Girl not impressed. Boy not impressed. But they eventually fall in love. Then there is a painful misunderstanding approximately 11 minutes before the movie ends, which is sorted out over the next five minutes, they kiss and live happily ever after. Sigh. Pass the dill chips.
Don’t worry–today’s challenge is not remotely about Christmas movies. It’s tied to a new word that has apparently entered the Christian lexicon and which I stumbled across in a Hallmark movie called A Godwink Christmas.
“Godwink?” I tried desperately not to roll my eyes. “Here we go,” I thought. “Another silly, contrived idea that fits somewhere between rubber bracelets, chubby cherubs and absurd theology.” I refused to watch the movie.
But I did some research.
It begins with a guy named Squire D. Rushnell who wrote a book called When God Winks at You: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence. And sure enough, he struck gold because there are now nine more Godwinks books available along with jewellery, movies, podcasts, even hats and coffee mugs.
I find it embarrassing. (Don’t worry; I am self-aware enough to recognize my breath-taking arrogance in the matter, and I think God may be laughing at me.)
Here’s what happened.
I had been going through a bit of a spiritual dry patch for a while. I won’t bore you with the details. This is just for context.
I was sitting on the couch reading a low-rent novel to pass the time. I can’t remember the title, or frankly much of the storyline. But right in the middle of the book, one character (a priest, I think) asks another what the scripture quoted above (Song of Solomon 2:10-13) is about.
After some thought, the second character says, “It’s about death. You could use it at a funeral.”
This stopped me completely. I re-read the scripture. I pictured our Lord reaching out His hand bidding a saved soul enter into all joy. I began to feel the dryness falling away as I realized that, regardless of circumstance, Christ loves us joyfully, unconditionally at this moment.
The old commentators (Barnes and Matthew Henry) agree. It’s about Christ’s love for the Church. It foreshadows the Christian’s reunion with Jesus in heaven. It’s about the joy that awaits and the depth of the love our Lord has for you at this moment. I even checked Spurgeon who is emphatic on the point.
Do you remember first love–that time when unspeakable joy rises in the heart? It’s when thoughts of the other fill your mind completely.
The Song of Solomon, from beginning to end, radiates images of complete and unreserved love, the kind Jesus holds for you even now. There are no Hallmark misunderstandings and there is nothing you can do to change that love.
Romans 8:38-39 reminds us, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The challenge: read the Song of Solomon. I shudder to say this but I think it might be the Bible’s Godwink.
Consider John 5:39: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.”