Psalm 133 requires a bit of explanation, as it is one of the most curious of all illustrations used in the Psalms. How is unity like precious oil poured on the head of Aaron and running down his beard and onto his robe? That doesn’t sound to pleasant to us. But the Psalm is referring to the anointing of Aaron as High Priest, uniting all people in their worship of God. The abundance of oil – a special oil used for just this purpose, fragrant with spices – is a sign of God’s abundant blessing for all people, together. And the dew of Hermon, in the high mountains in the north of Israel, which then feeds the Jordan River and brings blessing and fertility to the land – if that were to fall on Jerusalem, in the dry desert mountains to the South, then the blessing of crops and abundant fruit would be a sign of plenty for all people.
And so these two unusual signs are symbols pointing to the blessing of God which comes to us in times of unity.
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.
O God, we are one with you. You have made us one with you.
You have taught us that if we are open to one another, you dwell in us.
Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that
there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection.
O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept you, and we thank
you, and we adore you, and we love you with our whole being, because our being is your being,
our spirit is rooted in your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as
we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world, and
which makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious.
- Thomas Merton