Subject: Redeemer Downtown Devotional: Seventh Sunday after Pentecost: July 15th, 2012
Photo by Justin Shockley
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost: July 15th, 2012
These devotionals are to help you prepare for each Sunday to come in the Christian Calendar.*
Psalm 133 (ESV)
As part of Jesus’ renewing work, He brings about reconciliation among people groups who would ordinarily have no natural affinity or connection. He brings about reconciliation among economic classes, among ethnic groups, and between spiritual insiders and outsiders. While economic standing, ethnic background, and religious upbringing help to shape our identity, once we are in Christ, these are no longer at the core of our identity.
A song of ascent, Psalm 133 was sung by the people of God as they ascended to Jerusalem for annual festivals, which drew the faithful from throughout the Near Eastern world. It is a short yet evocative psalm that speaks of the beauty of a unified and harmonious community. The psalmist speaks of community not merely in corporate terms, but in familial terms. V. 1, “how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.”
The oil running down Aaron’s beard and robes speak of the anointing of Aaron as priest, with the precious oil as a symbol of God’s presence. Often mixed with spices, precious oil would fill a room with glorious fragrance. Hermon was the highest mountain in Israel and known to have heavy dew. In both pictures -- the fragrant oil and the dew of Hermon -- we are given images of a common experience of abundance and overflowing blessing resulting from a unified and lifegiving community. In fact, it is through community that we experience a fragrant and abundant life, “For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life evermore.” Is our community life one that is lifegiving and abundant? Is it in community that we enjoy “the blessing, life evermore”? How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
John C. Lin, Downtown Lead Pastor
O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people who call upon thee, and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect** from The Book of Common Prayer
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