Saturday, February 18, 2006

Psalm 133: Blessed Unity

A song of ascents. Of David.

1 How good and pleasant it is
when God's people live together in unity!

2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron's beard,
down on the collar of his robe.

3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.


In the Jesus community unity is among what is essential. We see in this psalm that it is good and pleasant. That it is like the olive oil used in anointing Aaron to the priesthood that ran down on his beard and collar. And like the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion. In other words, it is good, and a blessing.

For where this unity exists and is maintained among God's people, that is where God's blessing can be found. This unity is a part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. It is a unity with the Trinity, the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And a unity with all who, like us, are in union with God. Thus, it is sacred in and of itself.

This psalm tells us that God blesses his people who live together in unity.
There's the rub. It's anything but easy to really be seeking to live in that harmony that comes by seeking unity together in our Christian gatherings and communities.

It can simply be a unity that is coerced and exclusive. Cults have that unity. And I'm afraid there are churches that do, as well. Or it can be a unity that is voluntary and inclusive of any who would become a part of it. The unity Jesus calls us to. Or it can be in "no man's land", just not a part of what a gathering or "community" (in this case, a poor one) is all about.

All too often Christians seem eager to divide and throw stones at those who are not in their camp. I see it on blogs. Some blogs that sadly, seem devoted to nothing more than doing that. Calvinists throwing stones at emergents. Some throwing stones at seemingly almost everyone.

As God's people we must eschew all of that and be different! Let's make this unity that is blessed by God a priority. Especially where we can see that it needs "shored up", in the difficult places. At home? At work. As church. That we may see others join us in this blessed unity.

Do you see this unity as important? What does it look like? What gets in the way of it? How can we as God's people better live together in this blessed unity?


RonMcK said...

A very interesting post.
This passage is not just talking about unity between Christians. It is talking about living close together in unity. We have not really come to grips with Real Community yet.

Ted Gossard said...

Ron, Thanks. I look forward to reading your post on real community a little later, as I get a window of more time.

Ted Gossard said...

Ron, Very interesting read. I think it thoughtfully interacts well with where we live and our communities we're a part of.

The solution is intriguing. Good food for thought. I would encourge anyone to read it.

I will say that it would take a commitment, different in kind. I do like the basic concept, though don't believe that all would be called to such a model.

RonMcK said...

Thanks Ted
I find it odd that you think the commitment is too high. Christians in the West move house all the time to make a capital gain, get into a better class area or get a better job. Why will we not move for Jesus. It is easier than being persecuted for our faith.

Ted Gossard said...


There are some hard economic realities here, especially right now. My sister has had her house for sale for over a year now and no buyers. Where I live there are far more houses for sale than there are buyers at this time. And our part of the country has been affected by factory shut downs and downsizing significantly.

Also such a commitment needs to be taught, understood and then entered into with prayer when a family is ready. Many families are grounded in churches. Sure, they have to travel. But they have relationships in those places and ministries and relationships for their kids.

I'm not sure I see your take on cars. Here basically everyone has their own car and travels oftentimes significant miles to get to work, etc.

However, having said all of that, I still think your thoughts and model merit consideration. And think it's a good idea. But would be hard to get all like churches and Christians on board across an entire city.

Just my thoughts and breath for now.

Thanks and blessings,

RonMcK said...

Sounds like you area would be a great place for some people to move to start something.