Psalm, written by David, was used as a part of the ascent of pilgrims to Jerusalem. Three times a year every Jew who could made a pilgrimage Jerusalem for the celebration of various feast days or festivals. Some of those Jewish pilgrims came a significant distance, approaching the city of Jerusalem from all directions. As the city came into view, thousands sang this hymn. Verse 1 reads, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
What a powerful opening that is. It reminds us of what was a theme of the Old Testament and a center piece of Jesus’ message to the church. “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” In ancient Israel, the time of the festivals was a time of national unity. Like all societies Israel had those who were well off and those in poverty. Some were well educated and some with little or no education. There were the strong and the weak, the young and the old, the rich and the poor etc. But when they came together to worship God on those special days, they were reminded that they were one because of their faith in God and the covenant He had made with them. They were to come before God in worship, united in faith and the love they had toward one another.
Note that the Psalmist wrote that unity in the Lord is both good and pleasant. Unity in the Lord is both good and pleasant and that is super special. It is so good because when God created us, He created us to have fellowship first with Himself and then with others. When God created man, He looked upon him and said, “It is not good that he should be alone.”
Shortly before Jesus went to the Cross He met with His disciples and prayed for them. He concluded with these words recorded in John 17:20-23, “I pray also for those who will believe in me, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” Jesus went on to pray, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Lord willing, we will return to the building on Sunday. (See web site for guidelines we will follow.) It will be an exciting time for us. We have missed the fellowship with our church family. As we approach church on Sunday, we need to be aware that re-opening comes with a lot of unanswered questions and differences of opinion. Do I come or wait a bit? Do we wear masks or not? Do we sit with friends or just family? Do we sing or not? It would be very easy for Satan to divide us because of these different feelings but we must not allow that to happen.
Sunday, if you choose to stay home, we understand and want you to know “It is good and pleasant when God’s people live together in unity!” And if you choose to come, feel free to express how you feel about the way we worship but focus on, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
As we contemplate the future of both society and our church, we are aware that there are many unknowns. While we have no idea what the future holds, we know who holds the future, and in the end, that is all we need to know.
- Keep Cadence in your prayers as she heals.
- Remember Pastor Jim and Kathy’s daughter Elizabeth due to deliver a child this week.
- Remember several who are undergoing treatment for cancer.
- Remember Don Koch as he goes through rehab for a knee replacement
- Remember those returning to an uncertain workplace.
- Remember those in need of work.