April 9, 2021
Psalm 133 (NIV)
Psalm 133 NIV
Mt. Zion UMC, Afton
Mountain View District
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.
The Psalmist declares that it is good and pleasant to experience unity. I wonder if any would rise in objection. Probably not. We seem to have unity on the idea that unity is good and pleasant.
The Psalmist, then, goes a step further. Unity is not simply good and pleasant like a passing summer breeze or a bite of fresh strawberries. These are pleasant enough but passing, temporary, and, in some sense, trivial. The Psalmist poetically writes of unity as more. It is precious, valuable, and even eternal. Unity conjures images of contentment, blessing, and true happiness.
If unity is so universally desirable, why would it seem so illusive? Why would Christian families, churches, and organizations find themselves in such conflict? Perhaps it is a matter of priority. While unity brings happiness, there may be things we find more important. As Dr. Phil McGraw famously asked, “Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?”
This question is not simple. Some issues are more important than unity. Some things are worth dying for. Some things, some would argue, are even worth killing for. At times we must do what is right at all cost. But surely there are few issues of this magnitude; and we should be aware of the price we pay.
That destructive comment, starting that argument, bringing that criticism, or ending that relationship might be necessary at times; but, these actions come at the cost of unity. The actions cost us the good and the pleasant. They cost us what the Psalmist reminds us is valuable and precious. Understanding this idea would lead us to do so with grief not resentment.
Jesus prayed for us, asking, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you sent me … I in them and you in me - so that they may be brought to complete unity” (John 17:21 and 23 NIV).
As the Psalmist declared and Jesus prayed, may our families and churches be good and pleasant places. In the name of Christ. Amen.