How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! - Psalm 133:1
Back when I was a young seminary student and an Interim pastor in my little rural farming village in southwest Vermont, this time of year there was always a “Game Dinner” at the firehouse. People from all over the county would bring their game from hunting for a huge potluck: bear, venison, rabbit, and yes even the occasional squirrel were prepared in myriad ways for every course from appetizer to dessert. It was a grand affair.
What always struck me in the too few years I spent there was how so many of these families, who worked themselves to the bone all year long in often very cold and challenging weather (Vermont winters last from October until May, in case you didn’t know), always gave anything and everything they had to one another in their communities. Often families who had owned farms for generations hired members of other families for work, and while most folks had next to nothing, they gave the shirts off of their backs to one another.
I think of the Basket Brigade we participated in last weekend. The Community works best when we share what we have with one another. This was Jesus’ vision of God’s Realm, it was how Paul helped form the early worshiping communities that followed Jesus, and it is at the heart of our scripture when we consider loving our neighbors.
Did everyone in that firehouse at the Game Dinner always get along famously? No. Like any community, there were squabbles and politics and disagreements. Yet somehow that just went with the territory and folks dealt with it and got over it. At the Game Dinner, I saw the heart of Psalm 133:1 at work and it always stuck with me.
In these current days of such rampant division and vitriol, we could all use a Game Dinner at the firehouse and remind ourselves what’s really important.
God Of Unity, help us bring ourselves back to one another, for one another is all we truly have.