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A song of ascents.  Of David.  "How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!  It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.  It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion.  For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore."  Psalm 133:1-3

We are hearing a lot about unity lately.  Our nation needs to be united; our community needs to come together to combat this pandemic in unity; our church needs unity in order to grow.  Yet, we find discord, distrust and even hate.  The psalmist writes that when God’s people live together in unity it is good and pleasant.  Living together requires us to be compassionate.  Compassion requires empathy for one who is suffering and feeling compelled to reduce suffering.  It is a fuller, truer definition than feelings alone, and it’s a very biblical understanding.  Scripture tells us to love what is good, and hate what is evil.  Good is morally right and righteousness, it is to be desired.  Evil is morally wrong and wicked.  In the simple sense Jesus is good and satan is evil.

Galatians 5 lists for us the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  It also lists the “fruits” of the flesh which should be avoided if we wish to inherit the kingdom of God: immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, selfishness, dissension and the like.  It is my belief that the last time our country was unified was in World War Two.  People sacrificed to overcome evil.  Since then we have become comfortable with the wiles of the flesh.  It is time to put on the breastplate of righteousness and the cloak of Christ Jesus.  It is time to wear the belt of truth.  It is past time to take up the shield and sword of God while wearing the helmet of salvation.  We need to have compassion and reduce the suffering of the world, our community, and our church.  We need to put on the full armor of God, be prayed up, and be filled with the Spirit. 

So, get out of your jammies and house shoes.  We’re not going to WalMart.  We are at war with an ancient and dangerous foe.  Study the Word, get yourself to church, attend worship and Bible study, greet one another with a holy kiss, help one another, and most important of all SHARE JESUS.  The Lord will bestow his blessing of life forevermore.

Love and Hugs,

Pete.