By Rev. Kathryn Ray
The story of David and Jonathan is one of the great love stories of the Bible. The text tells us that, soon after they first met, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. They are thus, perhaps, the first known soulmates.
When I was doing background research for this sermon, as is my wont, a lot of articles that came up were debating whether or not we could see David and Jonathan as a gay couple. When we read these words of David that Jonathan’s love "surpassed the love of women," it does fire the imagination.
It’s important to remember that neither of these men would have claimed a sexual orientation. That understanding of human sexuality is alien to the text. And furthermore, marriage in this time was not what it is in our day and age. It wasn’t a union between lovers or soulmates. It was a property transfer, a formal arrangement to ensure and to safeguard the creation of children who would literally keep you alive in your old age and insure that you had a legacy.
But keeping in mind this distance between us and our text, I think I stand on solid, biblical ground when I say that the love between David and Jonathan was deep, true, and abiding.