There’s an old Hebrew poem that begins “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity.” It goes on to use a figure of speech related to a special ceremony of extreme honor and blessing, the anointing of that culture’s highest office. The simile used is too archaic to really connect to those of us in this day and age and place since the West has rarely used anointing in any of its appointings of general significance.
The image of extremely expensive oil being used to convey the honor and blessing of God Almighty upon a particular person designated to serve in a particular calling is rather difficult for most of us to imagine. Increasingly, it appears that the unity aspect is becoming harder to imagine as well.
At first look, there seems to be no shortage of people happily acknowledging its need, desirability and worthiness: newly elected or freshly rejected candidates and a host of others ostensibly concerned with the welfare of the nation and international implications.
Beneath the surface, though, it might appear that most of these potential uniters have one pretty simple premise for their unification project: agree with me and we can all get along just fine.
If all you blue people will quit being blue, I’ll be happy to work as one with you. As soon as all you red people can change your redness, we’ll be ready to link up arm and arm. As soon as you black people can quit harping about blackness, we can start healing our country. As soon as you white people can admit how reprehensible your whiteness is, things can be better. As soon as you radicals can become quaint and harmless, we can begin making things better. As soon as you religious idiots realize how idiotic religion is, we can resume our evolutionary progress. As soon as you atheists will acknowledge Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior I’ll be willing to talk with you.
Even after several decades of observation and experience, I’ll admit I’m no expert on human behavior. But what I’ve seen in families, churches, schools, work groups, communities and most every other accumulation of humanoids makes me pretty darn certain that unity isn’t all that hard to conceive.
All it takes is for people to love others more than they love their own opinions and to agree that getting along is more important than getting my way.