Romance is Bigger Than You Think
The swoon-worthy truth about Scripture
I recently looked up the definition of “romance.” Dictionary.com defined it as “a novel, movie or genre of popular fiction in which characters fall in love or begin a romantic relationship.” I agreed with that. Romance involves those blush-glowing, heart-beating, swoon-worthy moments at the beginning of a relationship.
But there are many things that get our cheeks flushed and our hearts beating – the love of a father for his child, one sister sacrificing for another, a young woman learning her true worth and taking ownership of her life. I felt like the website’s definition lacked something. Could romance be bigger, broader and far more significant than I thought? I kept digging.
I began to notice that the Bible uses overtly romantic tones to describe God’s love for us. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Jesus’ first miracle took place at a wedding and that the Bible ends with the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. His love letter begins and ends with romantic events. In fact, the Greek word for “Revelation,” the title of the Bible’s last book, is apokalysis, meaning an “unveiling.” The word was used during Jewish wedding ceremonies in the first century to describe that intimate moment when the groom would unveil his bride.
And those are only the Bible’s bookends! His love is just as captivating throughout all the content in between. We see him time and time again calling his people into a covenant relationship, a family and a romance.
In the Old Testament, we learn of seven covenants God initiated – not just promises, but sworn oaths of favor and fidelity:
● Adam (Gen 3:14-15)
● Noah (Gen 9:8-17)
● Abraham (Gen 15:17-21, Gen 17:17-21, Gen 22:15-18)
● Moses (Ex 24:3-8)
● David (2 Sam 7:4-17).
In the New Testament, we see the complete fulfillment of these covenants in Jesus. His new covenant paves the way for a deeper romance in which we are born into God’s family as sons and daughters.
In his renowned Confessions, St. Augustine sums up the essence of the true, broad, captivating, divine romance:
“You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you.”
Katherine Reay has lived across the U.S. and Europe and resides in Chicago. She holds a B.A. and M.S. from Northwestern University and is the author of Love Letters to Jane Austen. Her new novel, The Printed Letter Bookshop releases in May 2019. Her website www.katherinereay.com