Time For God: Day 28

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Psalm 133:1-2
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.

We reached the mid-point of the cross-country run in our Army fatigues and boots. Basic training was as tough as they promised. We felt like giving up. Still running, we drank water from the sipping bottles we carried. On we shuffled in a group.

The first lesson a soldier learns is that he cannot win the battle alone. He depends on his team. We received a command: each must look out for his assigned buddy. Our instructions were clear: if one fails, we all fail. Extra duties would ensue. The remainder of the evening would become a communal chore.

We neared the end—our efforts to continue grew more taxing. Rounding another corner we searched for the end-point of the exercise. At last! A small marker cone appeared; the end was in view. Relieved, each soldier crossed the finish line.

In faith’s journey, big challenges threaten to unhinge the Pilgrim traveler. Pressures abound. Too easily we mistake our brothers and sisters in Christ to be our enemies. The psalmist appeals to God’s injunction that we are to dwell together in unity.

Like Aaron, followers of Christ are assigned a priestly task: to represent the people to God (through prayer) and God to the people (through our work and witness). In unity as God’s Pilgrim people we proclaim Christ’s redemption for all creation.

Aaron’s anointing oil echoes Exodus 30:22-33. Its ingredients are specific: olive oil, fragrant cane, cassia, and fragrant cinnamon. Each is ordinary in itself. What makes it holy oil? Holiness lies in harmonizing the individual oils to work together for God.

When God’s family, followers of Jesus, elect to work and dwell in harmony, amazing results must follow. We bless God’s waiting world as His favour rests upon us.

When has hurt pride, resentment, or selfish ambition pitted you against another believer? How might you repair the rift? What is God prompting you to do to rebuild your lost unity and harmony? Are you willing to trust Him in this challenging work?

Merciful Lord, you know how often I tend to get it wrong. I am so very sorry. Forgive me for the pain I bring to others. Cleanse me from my self-sabotaging behaviours. Restore the joy of my salvation; use me again in the work of the Gospel. Allow me to come alongside another broken spirit today with your redeeming love. Take me to those to whom I need to make amends. Grant me courage and resolve. Amen.

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