Psalms 133 and 134 We’re in this together!
Whilst faith is a personal matter of commitment it carries with it a community dimension. Through the Old Testament the Jews as a nation stuck together – they were committed to God and each other. Then in the New Testament we read of the development of what we now call ‘The Church’. Words like ‘Family’, Body, or ‘Household’ come to mind in describing groups of Christians.
This togetherness is seen as an important element of faith. We do not walk or struggle through life on our own. The central act of Christian worship, The Lord’s Supper, or Communion, is a meal taken together. Sure, it has become more symbolic in our times, but in essence it is a shared meal. It comes as a powerful reminder that we are not in the Faith business on our own: We’re in this together is a suitable heading for our thoughts and readings this week.
v 1. How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!
There was always some debate in schools as to whether the required daily assembly was an act of Collective Worship or Corporate worship. If it was Collective worship, we simply met in the Hall, or wherever, and worshipped as individuals in our own individual way. All that united us would be that we were in the same place, at the same time, and were all worshipping in one fashion or another. If it was Corporate worship, then we met as a body with some accepted focal aim in our worship. Our togetherness was not only a matter of place and time but also of united focus. We were all looking in the same direction and focussing on the same God.
That’s the harmony the Psalmist is writing about. Togetherness is really great in itself, but the harmony of all focussing on God in the same way is vital in worshipping together. We arrive at worship with a variety of concerns buzzing around in our minds; yesterday’s accident; today’s lunch, tomorrow’s work and so on. Then in our real togetherness we learn to focus on God as we worship, sing, pray, and learn as a united group. We become one body, with a united desire to honour God, putting Him at the centre of our thinking and worshipping. We take deliberate steps to put aside our individual desires, our personal preferences of songs and Bible readings, in order to express our God-given unity and spiritual harmony.
It is this wonderful and pleasant harmony that honours God and bears witness through our smiling acceptance that God is really among us.