Reading: Psalm 133
Verse One: How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
The Psalm for today is written to a community. It may be to a specific congregation or group of people or it may be to all the Israelites. It is believed that at the time of the writing, the nation of Israel was split into two kingdoms and the psalmist wrote this Psalm to try and help unite the two kingdoms.
Whether it is a sports team or a book club, a family or an office staff, a congregation or a nation, the goal and hope is always unity and peace. Our Psalm today opens with “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity”! This is indeed true! Unity and peace are signs of love and togetherness. The image of oil being poured out in the Psalm represents God’s blessings being poured down. The dew represents well-being and is also a connection to God’s blessings. It is God’s plan and intent for creation to get along – from the two friends to the couple to the family to the neighbors to the community to the nation to the world. To live in peace and unity and love and harmony is God’s intent. If we all loved neighbor as Jesus first loved us then God’s intent would be our reality.
Although this is God’s intent, there is no shortage of conflict in our lives and world. Much of it is interpersonal. Society’s bent towards individualism and self-gratification pits one against another in the battle for power and status and wealth. In the larger society there is much tension between groups of people as well as between nations. One only has to look at Charlottesville and North Korea to see the seeds of hatred and bigotry and mistrust and evil.
If God’s intent is unity, as followers of Jesus Christ, what is our role to play in bringing unity to our world? It begins by loving all we meet as Christ loves us. Loving and seeing as Jesus loved and saw leads us to stand up for what is right, to stand against what is wrong, and to seek to bring peace and justice and unity and love into all situations we find ourselves in. We are to be the light and love. We are to bring peace and hope. May it begin in our hearts, in our homes, in our churches, and in our worlds.