Reflection - Psalm 133, by Sonya

September 7, 2020
Services

Notes from the service held on the 2nd of August, 2020.

Notices:

19th August, 2nd round of gifts to new residents across the road and around the corner, baking needed? See Wayne Kirkland for details.

7am prayers are going to be held in the church from now on.

Message:

Sonya gave a great reflection on Psalm 133, it was honest, contemplative and brought to mind imagery and meanings I had not considered before with these kinds of psalms.

Here is a collection of notes I jotted down during the talk, so disclaimer on accuracy and details, even on an actual intent of meaning by Sonya :). This is just some notes on what I got from her talk that might be of interest to others.

Psalm 133

A song of ascents. Of David.

1 How good and pleasant it is
   when God’s people live together in unity!

2 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.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
   were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
   even life forevermore.

Sonya talked about the power that comes from unity. With such a short psalm, what was there to explore though?

Unity

In this she talked about concepts around what is meant by unit.  Ideas of harmony and frequency, essential and delightful to take part in, how good unity is, how pleasant.

Beyond the bounds of community, God's love flows though our unity(?)

Oil

In the second verse, unity together is like anointing oil, that flows down Aaron's beard. In the Old Testament, the priest used this precious oil in ceremonies that would manifest the character of God, a mediating process, seeing examples of God's goodness at work.

Dew

Dew referred to in the third was reflected upon as morning freshness, a new day. But further reflection brought about the realisation that dew is indispensable in the dessert context.

Mount Hermon is a mountain cluster constituting the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. Its summit straddles the border between Syria and Lebanon and, at 2,814 m above sea level, is the highest point in Syria. Wikipedia
Elevation: 2,814 m

Mt Hermon is part of a cluster of mountains that literally makes the land around it arable. It is a source of growth. It is a condition for growth, where unity and creativity flow.

Communities can use this energy to push through internal conflict, with creativity, towards blessing and everlasting life.


Examples Sonya gave were the Taizé Community in the south of France. Founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz, it offered a simple life for political refugees. Life together grew in popularity until 1966, offering prayer and worship.  As a working monastery, it attracted up to 5,000 young people per week, amongst many things, they offered prayers of reconciliation.

Sonya had visited there at the end of her faith rope. While there she felt that while she had finished with God, God had not finished with her.  For many, Taizé is the last step for many on their faith journey.

Practical steps?

Where is a starting place to work towards unity? Maybe like the dew it tumbles down from the highest place of God. Collective worship may be the foundation of unity.  Come before God with your needs, as children with needs, with your vulnerability. Is this like family, worship being the basis of interactions with God and each other.

At the alter, we come together to share food and drink together, an act that is usually private. Coming together, acknowledging those around you, sharing in the same experience. She mentioned a Lutheran practice of a 3 second stare when exchanging the peace, focussing and connecting with one another.

When you glance at those around you at the alter, there are three things to think about:

  1. The people around you as fellow members of the family of God.
  2. How can you manifest the love of God with them?
  3. Loving and being loved by those people leads to community transformation.

What is God asking of me today in this context?

What I appreciated most from this message was the simplicity of the dew image, how small things can lead to arable lands and fruitful people. Also, the link we share around the alter and the steps we can actively take towards blessed unity.

Another disclaimer, please let me know if I got some or all of this wrong, or if this resonates with you.

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