The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
In 1971 Coca-Cola gathered lots of children on a hilltop in Italy and filmed one of the most famous TV adverts ever. It contained this song:
I’d like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves
I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land
The song reached number one in the charts – and helped sell a lot of Coca-Cola.
The desire of the song – for harmony between people, is echoed in poems, songs, books and movies throughout history. As humans we love the idea that people can live together. We know it doesn’t happen that often – but for some reason we yearn for it. Psalm 133 echoes this:
1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! 2 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. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.
David cries out about how good it is for God’s people dwell in unity. He compares it to oil running down on Aaron – which to me sounds very messy – but is a sign of the blessing of God on the priest. The he talks about it as the watering dew that comes down from Mount Hermon when the land is hot and dry.
God bestows blessing on unity – and David evens hints that this unity might last beyond death – forevermore (the idea of eternal life is present only in glimpses in the Psalms).
But, and it’s a big but – this unity needs help. Big help. God help. This kind of unity is rare in human history – but with God it is possible.
A large group of rather dis-united Christians encountered the Holy Spirit on 13th August 1727 at Herrnhut in Germany – and they were transformed, became united and began to grow in number rapidly. You can read about it here.
It shows how much we need God’s help to have a stab at unity. Pray for it for your community – only God can really do it.