One of Bob’s brothers was a army paratrooper out of Fort Bragg. He then went on to get his M.Div. from Fuller in California. So somewhere along the way he was dubbed “the warrior priest”. (We still have a couple of his army jackets—your tax dollars at work…)
Evidently, English is not an easy second language to learn, but Richie mentioned how difficult it was to learn Greek and Hebrew. I can only imagine the hours he spent at a desk pouring over books and notes. It had to be an intentional positioning of his body and mind to make sense of all those squiggly marks!
So I have an increased respect for those who delve into the classic languages, and those who have sacrificed much more than time to bring us the Bible in our own tongue. Through the years, even I have picked up a few words here and there. I have a sweet gold necklace that Bob’s mom brought back to me from a visit to Israel that is my name in Hebrew. (At least, that’s what she was told; for all I know it could say “go home, Yankee pig”, but that’s beside the point.) Years ago, I learned a song in Hebrew that is this passage from the Old Testament:
How wonderful and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in harmony!
Unity—now there’s an old fashioned concept. In this culture of unchecked individualism and entitlement, unity seems to have fallen out of favor, at least when it impinges on my personal rights and opportunities. ‘Cause, you know, it’s all about me, right?
Wrong. Here’s another part of the same passage:
Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon
that falls on the mountains of Zion.
And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing,
even life everlasting.
Fascinating, really. It seems that the “there” the writer refers to isn’t actually Zion so much as it is those who are in “harmony”. It is when the church, the followers of Jesus Christ, are in unity (which is not necessarily “unison”; we’re not little clones of each other, Heaven forbid!), it is in that place of unity that God’s blessing falls on us.
But not unlike my brother-in-law’s discipline in learning his foreign ABC’s, unity is a foreign concept to our otherwise self-centered hearts. And like Richie in the library, it is critical that we strategically position ourselves with the Holy Spirit to LEARN unity, not merely wish to experience it on my terms:
- Placing ourselves under appropriate church authority, even when it’s not fun
- Refusing to participate in gossip,
- Refraining from grumbling and complaining—learning constructive ways to voice concerns,
- Mounting an offensive against offense, offering grace and patience to those who disagree,
- Allowing humility to have its way in my heart, mind, and decisions.
Unity is the gold necklace around the Bride of Christ that helps identify us as His own.
What name does yours read??
Psalm 133:1,3 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.