URC Daily Devotion Monday, 30 October 2023

Monday, 30 October 2023

Psalm 133
A song of ascents. Of David.
How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
 It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
    even life for evermore.  

 

Reflection
 
In its description of God’s people living together in unity, Psalm 133 is gratuitously, excessively generous, almost wasteful, in the abundance it describes: a sensuous image of precious oil spilling not only onto Aaron’s beard but also onto his clothes, as if the bottle was tipped too far, carelessly, with scant regard for its value.  That’s how abundantly God blesses us, and more importantly our work and each other, when we live together in God’s name.  Locally I have long seen the abundant blessing that comes from ‘God’s people (living) together in unity’: the operation of a Foodbank which depends on its volunteers, 90% of whom are from local churches (at least one volunteer from each church); an alternative-education school established by faithful local Christians and supported by faithful local churches, providing grace and hope for hundreds of young people, now in its 18th year; a genuine welcome to hotel-housed asylum seekers, which has included food parcels, informal English lessons and a number of Baptisms in three different churches.  This on-the-ground impact and blessing of ‘God’s people (living) together in unity’ is visible in so many of our communities, with so many individuals, but it can also be seen regionally and nationally: LEPs continue to hold up against ‘decline’, and increasingly members consider themselves to belong to a united church rather than aligning themselves with a particular denomination.  Synods are finding creative ways to work with partners in other denominations to provide ministry across a local area, and to establish new mission projects or plants.  National Ecumenical Officers are working together to develop regional roles that will enable these sorts of positive and mission-focused partnerships to thrive.

The blessing that is promised on us ‘(living) together in unity’ includes ‘even life for evermore’, and it is our hope and prayer that that same blessing spills over abundantly on the lives of those among whom we are active.

 

 

Prayer

Unifying God, 
we praise you knowing that you walk beside us 
and with us whoever we are, whatever our flaws.  
We trust that you will find the right people to be near us, 
to challenge and complement us, 
so that we see abundant blessing and increase in your community.
“Love, like death, has all destroyed, 
rendered all distinctions void; 
names and sects and parties fall: 
you, oh Christ, are all in all.”
Amen

Today’s writer

Lindsey Brown is the URC’s Mission Support Officer and an Elder at Epping URC 

Copyright

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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