Psalm 133:1 - "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity."
We live in a day where there are many sons, but there are few fathers to guide those sons. I can think of nothing deeper, no ache common to man than to be affirmed, blessed, and guided into his place as a man. It takes a father to do that. God sets himself up that way. He uses the language of father describing himself.
I love the line from Iron John by Robert Bly, "A land with no fathers demands a king." We too easily fall prey to that thinking, worshiping idols over seeking fathers since none seem to be around. It seems the case from Israel's first king Saul, who everyone wanted to be their great deliverer, onto present day Obama. Everyone is so disappointed he has not lived up to his potential as king.
I think its because we need more fathers, not more kings.
I find myself doing that more often than I wish. To be near a king, to be around power and prestige is far too often a denial of the true fathering I need to grow into the man I need to become. A king is like a genie in a bottle instantly granting you wishes. A father is more a guide to grow you up. I'd much rather take the safer route of just being instantly zapped. Then walking out the pain and process it takes to become that man.
But, we find ourselves in a world in need of fathers. We have a king. One set in the throne above now guiding all men who look to him. We need fathers guided by our king of kings passing down the blessing of the Father. But few of them seem to have been through the agonizing process themselves from a son to a father, and live the day to bless the sons.
And here lies one of the issues of unity in brotherhood. While brothers can bless one another, it is the father's blessing we are after. There appear few who can give it. We are like refugees starving for food clawing on one another when the food arrives. Or is spotted. Who will get it? I must claw my way through the crowd...
There is a book by Bob Sorge called Envy. He explains that most envy comes from brother-to-brother relationships, sister-to-sister. We are not usually as envious of fathers, as we are the sons around him. The reason Cain killed Abel? Jealousy, envy of a brother for the fathers blessing. There is the story of Joseph. Why did they sell him? He was the most loved. His brothers despised that.
Sorge explains the issues of the day is between brothers and the blessings.
My biggest yearning is to be blessed, by God, by good fathers, and yet so is everyone of my brothers who are equally starving for the same. All deserving of the same. The question is, can we all be blessed, is there enough food to be passed around, or does just one of us get that? Are all our lives of equal importance, or are there just a few the king has in mind for greater things.
I think of that scripture in the Psalms about living in unity with brothers really grabbed me tonight as I read it. How truly a beautiful thing that is. It means a king has come, and fathers are blessing sons. It means they can respect and enjoy one another. Cheer one another on. Bless each others success, and pray for their struggles.
I think somehow that is what SHALOM means. It will finally come at the King's coming to finally restore us as fathers and sons, filled with the blessings. I pray till then, unity can come through more fathers blessing more sons. I think the more food we see, the less we will be crawling on one another thinking there is only a few sources to find it. We will most certainly be feasting at a large table. And I am glad there will be plenty of food. The wedding feast of the lamb. That's going to be one big meal with lots to go around.