“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1
Unity. Peace. Today we yearn for unity and peace in our nation. Those suffering starvation literally dream of their favorite meals–a cheeseburger, a slice of pizza, a juicy steak. So we who are starved of unity and peace yearn and dream of unity and peace.
This verse is usually applied to the topic of unity in the faith. That is, complete unity in what we believe, teach, and confess as the true scriptural doctrine. That is indeed the height of unity on earth. It is a unity we experience now in our membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, with our sister synod, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and with brother and sister Lutherans all over the world. We praise and thank God for the doctrinal unity with which he has blessed us.
But this verse can be applied to our beloved country as well. We are fellow citizens. We swear allegiance to the same constitution with its amendments. We salute the same flag. We voice the same pledge of allegiance.
There have been notable times in which we demonstrated great unity. The 9/11/01 terrorist attack on our nation. The day that lives in infamy–the dastardly attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It is no coincidence that disaster summons up our unity. Disaster opens our eyes to what we hold precious, to what we hold worth fighting for. So, since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired us to a sense of unity against a common enemy. And now the death of George Floyd has unified us in resolve to assure, protect, and defend the rights and protections of every American. And the recent riots erupting across our nation have galvanized us in our defense and protection of our neighbors and fellow citizens.
This is a time that cries for peace and unity. But peace and unity always come at a price. The price is on each of us. Each of us must speak up, reach out, and step out of our comfort zone to help, to clean up, to build up. Peace and unity come at a price. Ultimately, the price of Jesus’ death on the cross. There he paid for unity and peace. Peace between man and God, yes. But also peace between people, because Jesus died equally for all people, for all races, for all sinners. We are all alike before God in our guilt regarding sin. We are all alike before God in our justification through Christ.
Pray for a new era of unity and peace in our nation. Pray on the basis of the sacrifice of Christ. And when you have prayed, extend your heart, and your hand, and work for unity and peace.
-Pastor K.J. Anderson