I’ve never been anything other than disappointed by the various churches I’ve been part of. Every one turns out to be biblical, through and through: murmurers, complainers, the faithless, the inconstant, those plagued with doubt and riddled with sin, boring moralizers, glamorous secularizers. Every once in a while a shaft of blazing beauty seems to break out of nowhere and illuminate these companies, and then I see what my sin-dulled eyes had missed: word of God-shaped, Holy Spirit-created lives of sacrificial humility, incredible courage, heroic virtue, holy praise, joyful suffering, constant prayer, persevering obedience. Eugene Peterson, Leap Over a Wall, 1998.
Recently I laughed and joked with a group of good men – brothers, fathers, and uncles in Christ. The conversation turned to our various childhoods. A few of us grew up with brothers. We reminisced about the physical nature of brothers and boyhood. I have some “brother-gifted” scars. When you grow up with brothers, you learn to wrestle. If you grow up with an older brother, you learn how to take a hit, how to put your whole body into a hit, and when to run for cover.
This week, with Psalm 133, God turns our attention to the family of God as worship. Not the family of God in worship, but the family of God as worship.
Whether your own immediate family has cohesion or is fragmented, whether thinking of them makes you smile, wince, or worse, our families are an integral part of who we are. Families form us and our longing for them is unshakeable: you can’t get rid of it.