Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Psalm 133 (NRSV)
How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the LORD ordained his blessing,
The psalmist used metaphors to express the blessings he saw in “kindred living together in unity.” From the very beginning of the Christian church, there have been issues of disunity. Galatians and First Corinthians show the Apostle Paul’s concern because of the forces that tend to cause divisions—even in the church.
Churches do not often split over critical issues, although that has happened. Most splits are caused by disagreement over what Paul might refer to as non-essentials. The main problem in churches is that we cannot even agree on what is essential! Unity is not absolute agreement, however.
Acts 2:42-47 tells how the earliest church fellowshipped together both in their homes and in the Temple. The key is “glad and generous hearts.” The second greatest commandment grows out of a right relationship with God. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” makes it possible for us to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are glad because of what God has done for us, and generosity comes because we recognize God has been generous with us. We are united in Christ’s victory. Praise the Lord!
Almighty God, you have rescued us from sin and eternal death. You sent your Son to be the sacrifice for our sins so we might serve you in the right ways. Teach us to love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Let this motivate us to love as you have loved us and to be willing to tell others why we are glad, generous, and loving. Make us your people in truth and in deeds as we obey what Christ has commanded. Amen.
Go with God.