“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!”
What does the psalmist mean by ‘unity’? A united front, completely agreeing on everything? A group coming together for a common cause? Is it possible to have unity, but still disagree?
Yes, it is possible! Unity isn’t about agreement. Unity is about working together for the same common goal. In junior high school, I worked as a volunteer for Secret Santa. This program receives the names of children whose parents could not afford to buy presents. Basic information about the children (name, age, clothing size, and a few toys on their wish list) are put on trees at different stores throughout the city. Others pick up one of these papers, go shopping, wrap the new presents, and drop them off one of the collection locations. Trucks are then loaded to go to the distribution center. That’s where the volunteers come in. We spend a very full, busy day unloading these trucks and sorting the toys into piles, making sure they were labeled and ready to go out the door to the correct family.
We had hundreds of volunteers running round our Civic Center, all working together to get this job done. Outside of this volunteer event, I doubt that we would have crossed each other’s paths. We came from many different backgrounds — different ages, different income levels, different faiths, different values. And yet, we were still working together in unity, agreeing to volunteer, and putting aside any differences we had in order to accomplish the same goal.
It would be very easy for us to embrace our differences as walls to keep others out. But how much richer would our lives be if we saw ourselves not defined by what makes us different, but by what makes us similar – by what unites us? And what is it that unites us? The love of God, shown to us on the cross, which we then share with the world.
Peace & Blessings,