In my church we sometimes use Psalm 133 as a call to worship:
How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes....
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
The psalmist is describing the way that God blesses those who live in harmony. We know from experience what can happen in a church when people are pulling in the same direction, working in harmony to achieve common goals. New buildings are constructed, mission programs are initiated, and educational programs thrive.
When we read in the Bible the history of God’s people, however, what we see is that this unity is as rare as it is splendid. Conflicts divided and weakened the people of God. Through it all, the Lord grieved for his chosen people, who were living in conflict, not unity.
This lesson reaffirms the biblical teaching that God wants unity in the community of faith. Division is contrary to the will of God. Focusing on our differences results in conflict and chaos, while drawing on the strengths of our distinctiveness empowers us to serve Christ more faithfully.