How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting. (Psa 133:1-3 NLT)
My mom had been sick for a while, and with my brother in town for a brief visit we headed to the lawyer’s office to get Mom an up-to-date will. Mom had all the right paperwork, but for the wrong state.
My brother, sister and I have always gotten along well, so the idea of fighting over mom’s stuff was just not something I considered. But the lawyer was worried and wanted everything spelled out. Even when I reassured him there would be no fight, he insisted that everything be clear. He was worried because over the years, he had seen so many families become angry and wrathful towards each other when the Will was finally read. No doubt, family relationships can be tricky!
We can have complex and complicated church-family relationships as well. Maybe an irritation because the color of the carpet isn’t to our liking, or the music is too_______. I’ll let you fill in the blank! Or maybe the pastor dresses too casually, or not casually enough. Or the communion is executed the “wrong” way. On and on it can go!
And now, we can add to that list the Covid-19 annoyances. Annoyances like whether a mask should be worn or not. Or the frustration that someone is carelessly too close. Or exasperation because the Church is opening too soon or not soon enough. The possibilities for annoyances are endless.
But this irritation isn’t what the Church is called to. We are called to live in harmony. King David wrote, “How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony.” What amazing words of wisdom from a man who knew what it was like to have brothers not live in harmony and peace. He had first-hand experience when it came to family tension.
David had at least one older brother, Eliab, who was jealous of David’s KING status. He had a father in law, Saul, who at times tried to kill him. And a son, Absalom, who dethroned him and sent him packing.
David knew that harmony among brothers would be refreshing and a tremendous blessing. He also knew the heartache that is the direct result of people attempting to get their own way, taking care of number one.
I have seen numerous “Covid-19” commercials saying, we are in this together! And in a sense, we are. We have all, separately-together had to walk this Covid-19 isolation road. But now things are starting to get back up and running. Normal is starting to appear, little by little. We can see “life” reappearing on the horizon. And boy are we ready for it to come back roaring. We want normal! But not everyone in the Church agrees on what re-entry looks like.
Someone once said, “we should never waste a crisis.” And this is true! Of course, there are many ways we can use a crisis that is a tremendous waste. But one way for us to use this crisis as a Church, is to use this time to come together. To learn how to give grace and space to our brothers and sisters that don’t think like we do. To learn how to measure and weigh everything we say to make sure it is in the posture of peace and harmony.
So, this week and in the coming weeks and months. Let’s extend grace to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s think more of them and less of us. Let’s be, as James 3:17-18 says, peace loving, gentle at all times, yielding to others, full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds…. And the result of being a peacemaker will be seeds of peace will be planted and a harvest of righteousness will be reaped.
(Psa 133:1-3 NLT) 1 How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! 2 For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. 3 Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.