February 21, 2017
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, upon the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!” ~ Psalm 133:1-2
I committed Psalm 133 to memory in college as part of our “fraternity” of pre-theology students. The verses became significant long before summer church camps and special retreats in southern New Mexico. Most of my formative faith experiences and calling happened at those camps. Having time away, gathering in common purpose, drew us together quickly with a power and experience unlike any other. However, the significance of the oil was not at first recognized until reading from Charles John Ellicott, a distinguished English Christian theologian, academic and clergyperson in the Church of England, as the Bishop of Bristol and Gloucester, 1863-1905. Reading Ellicott’s Commentary for the English Reader, he notes the following about this sacred text:
“Our version unfortunately obscures this point… The oil descends from Aaron’s head over his face and beard; the dew of Hermon descends on Zion—It is not unity, then, in itself which is the subject of the poem, but the unity of the covenant under which all blessings flowed down from above, rested on Mount Zion, and took outward shape and form there in the political and religious constitution.”
This will be my first Plymouth Church Men’s Retreat experience, and while I’m sure there will be much value in conversation and fellowship, I most look forward to how we experience the unity of the covenant relationship we share in Christ, and the blessings which we experience being part of God’s covenantal people. I look forward to lesson, conversation, food, golf (even though I’m not good at it), worship and the casual, yet spirited conversation of men who desire to be united in the covenant relationship of being God’s people of love.
I’ll miss you Sunday in worship at Plymouth, and am grateful for the opportunity to ALWAYS be in covenant with you through Christ. “How good and pleasant it is…!” – Yours in grace and hope, Rev. Steven Davis, Minister of Administration & Church OperationsSubscribe