A Psalm of Ascent–Psalm 133

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A psalm of ascent was sung by the people coming together in worship on the way up to Jerusalem. It was literally an ascent because Jerusalem is 2500 feet above sea level, but it was also an ascent in thought as they turned their minds to God. The psalmist says as we go up, God comes down to meet us.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! (Ps.133:1)

Have you ever been to a class reunion? Was it good or bad? There can be joy in meeting old friends, seeing how everyone is older, what they are doing. Or maybe some people are just nosey, wanting to get revenge or brag.

In the 2015/16 season Leicester City football team became Premier league champions. They beat teams who are normally top of the league because of their team spirit.

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In the church we should nurture a growing unity between us day by day, knowing God’s purpose for our lives. The Jews gathered at Jerusalem three times a year. We should come together not only three times a year but daily.

It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! (Ps.133:2)

Oil is God’s anointing, God’s blessing. At the anointing of Aaron, the oil flows down from his head onto his robes. Anointing is messy. All that oil running over his beard down over his expensive, crafted clothes. Doing life together is messy, but so worthwhile.

It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore. (Ps.133:3)

Dew is God’s provision. Mount Hermon is famous for heavy dew. God will bless everywhere – the two mountains are miles apart but God does miracles. This is an eternal blessing of life for evermore. Wonderful things can be done when there is unity.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph 4:1-3)

Paul said to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit. Are we making every effort?

We find it hard to lay aside our pride. Keep forgiving, keep forgetting, keep putting others first. In order to worship together, we lay down some of our preferences for the sake of unity. In our fractured world unity is what we have to offer. Here is unity across the divisions.

One

Though the skins that are stretched over us
have shades enough
to mark a path from coal to snow
in micron increments,
we are one.

Though the fine lines of our features
are freehand enough
that even smiles
are signatures of difference,
we are one.

Though the cultures that encode us
are cryptic enough
to make each one of us a mystery to the other,
we are one.

Though the polarities that plague us
can have power enough
to make sparks fly
every time we come together,
we are one.

Though the stories that have shaped us
are self-penned enough
to fill a library with the secrets we each hide,
and though the route maps we rely on
may be rough enough
to make finding common ground
a roller-coaster ride;
though the distinctives that define us
may be deep enough
to aggravate and irritate and painfully divide,
and though the languages we vocalise
are localised enough
to keep a truckload of translators tongue-tied,
we are one.

Many: but one.
Different: but one.
Awkward: but one.
Reluctant: but one.
Taught: to be one,
bar none.
May our maker
make us one.

From Spoken Worship by Gerard Kelly

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Find out more at www.annmariethomas.me.uk

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About Ann Marie Thomas

Married since 1974, Christian since 1986, 4 children, 4 grand children, disabled with fibromyalgia but was working almost full time until a stroke in May 2010 changed my life completely. Writing poetry and making up stories since I was a child, I only started to write seriously when my children were grown. My main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way I got distracted by local history and poetry about my stroke. Taking early retirement gave me the chance to concentrate on my writing. My book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, was published in print and ebook at Easter 2012. The success of Alina led to the publication of Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015. I am still writing science fiction - a series of novels called Flight of the Kestrel. For all my author news, see me author blog at www.annmariethomas.me.uk
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