October 17, 2009

Enjoying Each Other

Psalm 133

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
Psalm 133:1


Both at work and at home, harmonious relationships are precious. Conflict and division are characterized by words and actions that belittle and degrade. People who experience emotional, physical, or sexual abuse in relationships that should be encouraging and nurturing need our compassion. We need to listen for their cries and look for ways to help. Healthy relationships are possible when we deal lovingly with the pain and realize the blessings of confession and forgiveness.

But the psalmist’s concern goes beyond family ties. Covenant bonds don’t just tie together siblings within a biological family—they hold together members of Christ’s church. God’s community of faith is the place where healthy nurture calls for unity and harmony. Jesus prayed for it earnestly in his high-priestly prayer (John 17), and Paul pleaded for it too (Ephesians 4).

Psalm 133 provides a picture and a promise. It gives a picture of anointing oil spilling onto a priest’s beard and garments. It’s a solemn picture of joy. A church must be a picture of abounding joy, attracting all who need to know Jesus. The psalm also promises God’s blessing of life for his people who “live together in unity.” Living that way strengthens a church’s mutual ties and empowers effective shared witness. Unified, harmonious churches are appealing and powerful in God’s hands.

Lord of church and families, thank you for healthy churches and families that enjoy interacting as loving, committed brothers and sisters. Forgive us for doing any less. Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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