Sometimes I suspect this psalmist had no siblings. I have a wonderful relationship with my younger sister, and we have a wonderful relationship with our parents. And it is, indeed, very good and pleasant when the family lives together in unity and peace.
Yet sometimes, maybe even most times, that unity feels impossible to maintain. The busyness and brokenness of life gets in the way. Our work in the course of each day makes the work of relationship feel too overwhelming. So relationships break down. Days stretch out without true communication, with no real goodness or pleasantness. The shape of the connection becomes one of discord and frustration.
But perhaps the psalmist speaks these words into that very situation. Maybe the seeming impossibility of unity is why this psalm speaks of community’s abundant blessing.
So even though I sometimes suspect this psalmist had no siblings, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this psalmist had an abundance of siblings and so knew firsthand the chaos, frustration, and hard work of relationship. Therefore he can sing profoundly of the beauty and nurture of peace and concord.
Maybe the psalmist knew intimately that unity and communion are like heavy dew falling upon parched mountains. And the wonderful thing about dew? It arrives overnight, in the darkness, when no one watches for its arrival. And dew arrives fresh each morning, no matter what argument or division the previous day has wrought. What an abundant, forgiving blessing of life! Where in your life, community, or world does unity feel most impossible? What morning dew might refresh and restore relationships and communities?
Triune God, grant me patience and compassion for those with whom I live, work, serve, and worship. Amen.
Easter promises us the possibility of new life in Christ, but what should that life look like? Scripture makes clear that one sign of union with God is unity with each other. How wonderful it is, the psalmist says, when there is peace among brothers and sisters. Unity and peace do not mean simply the lack of conflict but proactive care for one another. The Christians in Acts lived out this care in a practical way by giving of their material means to help one another. John in his epistle tells us that this fellowship with one another is ultimately modeled on the fellowship we share with God and Christ, while in his Gospel, John teaches that belief in Jesus the Messiah is what binds us all together in this new life.
• Read Acts 4:32-35. In what ways have you experienced the generosity of community?
• Read Psalm 133. How and where do you experience the wild, extravagant love of God?
• Read 1 John 1:1–2:2. How do you keep ever before you the urgency and joy of Easter?
• Read John 20:19-31. What fears keep you locked away from the world?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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