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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Today’s Reading | Psalm 133

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,
     life forevermore. (NRSV)

This psalm’s call for unity is especially needed in what often seems like a fractured world. Commentators explain the “kindred” mentioned here is not a single family group but, more largely, God’s people, all of us. In the images of oil—used in consecrating a priest—and dew—for watering the lands—we see that God holds nothing back. God lavishly and generously anoints the priests and then waters the land. The oil, running down Aaron’s beard, is an image of abundance. This costly oil was not rationed but lavishly given. The dew on Mount Heron goes on to provide sustenance for all the mountains of Zion.

These images of God’s generosity call us to be generous. To be unified also requires us to be generous. We must be generous in forgiving each other, in trying to understand each other’s points of view, in listening to each other. Without extending generosity to each other, it is impossible to be unified.

The psalm closes with the utmost example of God’s unity and generosity: “life forevermore.” The promise to be united with God for all eternity is the ultimate gift of both unity and generosity. It has been freely given to us, through Christ. So let us respond with wisdom from the psalmist: let us seek each day to live together as one, reminded of Christ’s ultimate gift and God’s abundant generosity.

Loving God, it seems we are all so quick to find the fault, to look for an ulterior motive, to be suspicious of others intent. Open my heart, this day, to extend generosity to others. Fill my heart with thankfulness for the generosity that you have extended to each of us through Christ. Help me to forgive others and understand myself as a unified part of your body in this world. Let the psalmist’s words apply directly to me: “Look at how good and pleasing it is, when families live together as one.” Amen.

Written by Liz Nickerson,
Family Ministry Coordinator and Interim Director of Worship

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