Preacher: “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!”
Seeker: If King David write this, I wonder if he was thinking about his early life in the court of King Saul when the king threw a spear at him. Maybe reflecting on his hope that he and King Saul would have had a better relationship. Or if his thoughts were about meeting the king’s son Jonathon.
Preacher: He might have been thinking about the days of his court when all of his enemies were vanquished and he was building up his own court and starting a family. Of course, King David’s family life was not calm and tranquil.
Seeker: He might have been thinking of his later years when Solomon was being groomed to be the next king; David might have felt he had established a legacy that would endure.
Preacher: You know, Paul might have longed for this peace too; both for himself and the believers in the churches he established. We read in II Corinthians that he had suffered greatly for his beliefs and teachings. And in other letters he advised the new believers to try to live in peace with the community around them.
Seeker: “It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.”
Preacher: We could, and should, in our own modern times live in peace. I suspect, Seeker, the unrest and violence in our current day rivals or out does the unrest and violence we hear about in the Old Testament. Neighbor against neighbor, families divided, nation against nation, cultural groups versus other cultural groups.
Seeker: Now are the conflicts are you talking about in our times or biblical times? And remember, Preacher, there was unrest in Jesus’ time too. The spread of Christianity has caused, and sadly continues to cause division and dissension.
Preacher: You are right, Seeker. All times have for one place, person, or reason been times for unrest and violence. May our current times seem more violent because the fall out and damage is so apparent. When we read about it, the reality is not as large and looming in front of us. All little precious oil would soothe so much now. I am sure the psalmist, whether it was King David or not, longed for its healing effect.
Seeker: “It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the LORD ordained his blessing, life forevermore.” ( Psalm 133)
Preacher: It seems ironic that Jesus brought calm to the raging seas and winds when he was out with his disciples. Yet the new way of being in relationship to the Divine also brought turmoil. Not that it was supposed to be like that – no, the Divine did not seek to create a war in humanity or creation. It is just that human willfulness can sometimes not recognize what is best for itself. Pure authentic Christianity (at least I believe) intends for peace and shalom. We just need to find the best way to “fight” for it.
Seeker: Like you, Preacher, I believe that Jesus’ purpose was to calm our souls like he calmed the wind and sea. Acknowledge that the turmoil is there, and then find ways to bring rest and shalom to the spirit, through the Holy Spirit!
Preacher: Shalom & Selah, Seeker, Shalom & Selah!