Psalm 133 is a short psalm focused on a single observation:   “How good and how pleasant for brothers to dwell in unity”. Then the psalmist adds a couple of verses emphasizing what an important, satisfying goal unity is for a spiritual family. Jesus later pointed out the consequence of the lack of unity saying, “a house divided against itself falls”. The psalm doesn’t address how to achieve unity but there are plenty of “how to” verses throughout Scripture. Commandments like “love one another”, “be at peace with one another”, “forgive others seventy times seven”, “give preference to one another in honor”, “through love serve one another”, “be subject to one another”, “put on … compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another and forgiving each other … just as the Lord forgave you”, and other verses speak to how to build unity.

Unity takes action from all members of the body. Actions including a willingness to listen, to not make snap judgements, to recognize God’s desire that we each use our different gifts and backgrounds. Unity takes some work and listening to the Spirit. It involves not adopting the world’s values and its tendency to generalize others into groups - “someone thinks this one idea/method/attitude, therefore, they must have these ideas/method/attitude”. We live under God’s grace, therefore, we should extend grace to our spiritual family to experience how good and pleasant harmony really is.

by Rick Hays, Deacon

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