ODJ: The Unity Dance

May 1, 2018 

READ: Psalm 133:1-3 

How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! (v.1).

The Unity Dance” is a beautiful poem written more than a century ago by Romanian Vasile Alecsandri. The verses evoke a desire of unity for all Romanians and freedom from oppression. To this day, the call to “join hands, those with Romanian hearts, to go round the dance of brotherhood on Romania’s land” awakens a longing for unity and peace.

A desire for unity is also reflected in Psalm 133 written by King David. Although the context is uncertain, it’s believed David wrote this song when he was finally made king over all the tribes of Israel and God’s people were united for a time (1 Chronicles 12:38-40).

As David was pursuing the nation’s unity, he used two beautiful illustrations to describe harmony among God’s people. First, he likened it to “the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head” (Psalm 133:2). In David’s culture it was customary to anoint guests’ heads with oil of a pleasing aroma to reinvigorate them. In the same way, David viewed the harmony between fellow Israelites as energising and creating a pleasant atmosphere.

David then compared the unity of God’s people with “the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion” (v.3). Because of its height, snow-capped Mount Hermon is a consistent source of life-sustaining fresh water for the region. Unity refreshes and sustains.

Just like the Israelites, the church today longs for unity. The harmony we have with Jesus and with one another can bring new life, the wonderful ‘fragrance’ of love expressed in action. May God help us to live in “complete harmony with each other” so that we can “together with one voice, [give] praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6).

—Estera Pirosca Escobar

365-day plan: Nehemiah 8:1-18

Read Philippians 2:2-4 and note Paul’s encouragement for believers to live in unity. 
How have you experienced true unity and fellowship in your community of faith? Is there something practical you can do this week to pursue greater harmony with your brothers and sisters in Jesus?