"How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!"
Have you ever heard someone say, "They love each other like brothers?" That usually means that the people being discussed have their agreements and disagreements, but they always stick together in the hard times. Well, having four boys in our house, I can tell you that brothers don't always get along, but when they do, it's wonderful. And you can bet that when something happens to one, they all come to the rescue. I have an older brother and sister and recently my sister sent me a framed picture of "then" and "now" - an image from when we were very young along with an image of a recent get-together.
When we were young, we would play together, and although she was a little older than I was, she would help me with things when I needed help. Every once in a while, ... OK, fairly often, we would get on each other's nerves and have to spend some time apart, but she was always there to stand up for me in time of trouble.
Sometimes even in our Christian family, we don't always see eye to eye with others. People from different denominations may have some beliefs that differ from ours, but when we stand together, even agreeing to disagree about the less important things, we can get along with each other. In our community, we may struggle with racial or economic or political differences. I am certain that in the nation of Israel from the days of the Psalmist, not everyone agreed with everyone else. In fact, show me even a handful of people who always agree on everything, and I will show you a great deal of compromise. Sometimes, we have to just put aside our differences and stand together as brothers and sisters.
We can't spell "Community" without the word "Unity." How wonderful it is when we can all get together, forgiving each other for our shortcomings and loving each other through our difficulties.
Where do we need to forgive those who don't necessarily agree with us? Where can we ask God to help us to have unity in our Community?
Jan McCoy is associate pastor of First United Methodist Church of Covington. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.