‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! 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. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.’ (Psalm 133)
I’ve recently been pondering this word unity. Why exactly is it that God would declare an everlasting decree of blessing upon this state of living? Why is it that there seems to be a significant lack of it in the church, when it appears to be so incredibly important to the eternal understanding that we are tending to?
Any small triumph of oneness I’ve encountered seems all too quickly overpowered and enshrouded by the chasm of division. It is an often disheartening field to plough, but even so, If God makes it an eternal assignment to pursue, then so should I!
In Psalm 133 we see this extravagant, beautiful, and costly picture that unity evokes for David. I wonder if the reason for this elaborate blessing is because at the heart of the matter is the central story of the gospel. Love and sacrifice.
The very essence of the word brings me face to face with Christ and I can no longer dodge the questions of:
Do I really believe in the gospel?
Is it really better to give than it is to receive?
Do I live in a way to prefer others?
Is love the anchor of my soul or am I pursuing my own selfish dreams and desires?
Do I really believe that to live is Christ and to die is gain?
To be honest these hard hitting questions feel almost completely overwhelming and make me think that I might never want to submit this blog post. But in my wrestling I have come to the conclusion that it’s ok for me not to have all the answers figured out. What I can’t do is just pretend that the truth and beauty that this word unity evokes doesn’t exist.
Even in the last days of Jesus’ ministry he prayed a prayer that is still echoing in eternity for our lives today: that we may be one even as he and his Father are one (John 17). The trinity is, after all, the perfect and complete picture of unity for us to understand and follow.
The pursuit of unity could well cost you everything you own and possess. But I truly believe that it only leads to glorious, wonderful, joy-filled life. I hope to get better at letting down my draw-bridge, opening my home, laying down my pride, and not thinking more highly of myself than I ought.
I just wonder what God might do if we prioritised unity above individualism, consumerism, and fame.
We may see holy dew quench the thirsty earth once again and his presence like precious oil poured out as a sign of the assurance of eternity in our lives today and tomorrow.