July 18, 2020

The Gift of Unity

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 18, 2020

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 for evermore. Psalm 133

Unity seems to be an elusive thing these days. Whatever your convictions may be, it seems as though we are challenged daily to double down on those convictions and dig our heels in, and in the process create as much space and distance as is humanly possible from those who think differently than us! We see this struggle at a national and international level as debates rage on about foreign and domestic policy, the stability and future of the global markets, how to respond to a pandemic, etc. etc. However, we also see this in highly personal and intimate ways, with unity threatened at the dinner table, or on a video call with family members who may or may not share your convictions, or when you choose to avoid people you love because you know they don’t see things the same way you do.

In today’s Psalm reading, we’re reminded that unity is a “very good and pleasant” thing. It is meant to be a way of life, a defining part of our human existence, not a passing moment or fleeting emotion. We are meant to “live together” in unity. Yet we also learn two things about unity in these verses. Firstly, unity is meant to be a sign that we are family, “kindred” who belong to one another and therefore choose to seek unity with all that we have. Secondly, and helpfully if you find that unity within your family is ever-elusive and seemingly impossible, this unity is not something you and I can fabricate or manufacture but is a gift from God and a sign of his blessing. We can long for it, pray for it, seek forgiveness and healing of old wounds, but we cannot force it or make it appear. 

Our greatest hope for a life of unity is to move closer to the source of true unity, the Holy Trinity. It is within the life of God that we are reminded of the way unity and diversity find their true and faithful expression. And it is here in the presence of God that we encounter the refreshment and renewal the psalmist points to, like oil on the beard of Aaron or the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion.

Throughout the Bible, Mt. Zion is a taste of what we experience fully in the life of the Church. Just as God’s presence dwelt upon Zion in ancient days, today we as the baptized people of God find our home and our hope as members of the body of Christ, his church. The church is meant to be our source of unity in times of division, and a constant reminder of our closest and truest relations! If you find yourself today struggling to know where you belong, or to whom you belong, who is your brother, or sister, or mother, or father, Psalm 133 invites us afresh to turn our hearts and lives towards the family of God, trusting that as we do, our Lord in his goodness and love meets us, restores us, and unites us to himself.


Father, thank you for the gift of unity that you offer within the life of your family, the church. In these times of great confusion and disorientation, help us to see you clearly and move towards you and your people with faithful intentionality, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.


How can you pursue unity within the family of God through your actions today?

Related Reading

John 13:35; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Romans 14:19

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