1 How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
2 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.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
This psalm reflects an obvious concern in ancient Israel, the importance of family values. The family is a crucial institution for every culture. It affects everyone, for better or for worse. By its very nature, it can be the place where one experiences and learns intimacy, love, and growth, or it can be the place where one experiences and learns resentment, pain, abuse, and destructive behavior. Think about how much your own family and family values have shaped how you see the world today.
It is always preferable to live together in unity rather than to be separated by our differences, but we can all testify to the fact that unity is sometimes elusive in life. Our values can define who we are and it is difficult to commune with others who look at the world a little differently than we do. This psalm is telling us that it is better for us to be united in fellowship and love, choosing to focus more on our common ground rather than the things that divide us. There are always things that we will disagree on but we can choose to love others and choose to lift up the things we do agree on over the things we don’t for the purpose of our relationships.
God, when you created humanity, you created community in your image. Forgive us for dividing what you have designed for unity. Help us to see one another through your eyes, loving each other as you love us. Amen.