Cross Points 5.15.22

Anointing Oil, Psalm 133 & 134

How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!                                                
It is like costly anointing oil flowing down head and beard, flowing down Aaron’s beard    Flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.  It is like the dew on Mount Hermon, flowing down the slope of Zion, where God commands the blessing, ordains eternal life.  Psalm 133

We have arrived at the temple mount!  This journey of song has taken our emotions up and down as we sing about our relationship with God, his attributes that we want for ourselves.  Life is difficult, sin impacts many things, we struggle and yet seek the Lord and his blessing.  It has all been part of this walk up the mountain toward the worship place in Jerusalem.

This journey parallel’s the struggle for maturity and true worship that we face as Christians.  The path is often lonely, we grapple with many things that impact us as individuals, but all the more reason that we need the community of saints.  We need the encouragement they can provide, the lessons we can learn as we depend on each other’s experience and knowledge.  “How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!”

Anointing oil was used for the priests who served in the temple and was also used to anoint new kings in Israel and Judah.  It was a sign of God’s Holy Spirit coming upon the person.  We don’t want a little bit of this oil; we want it flowing down and covering us.  We want God to bless us and may struggle to see his blessings in this difficult life we live unless we are yielding to his Spirit.  When done, we know the struggles will be worth it as God has ordained for his follower’s eternal life!

As an illustration of this, consider a life that ended very tragically…
The time was April 9th, 1945.  The prison doctor at Flossenburg wrote this report: “On the morning, sometime between 5-6am the prisoners were led out of their cells and the verdict read to them.  Through the half-open door of a room in one of the huts I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer, kneeling in fervent prayer to the Lord his God.  The devotion and evident conviction of being heard that I saw in the prayer of this intensely captivating man, moved me to the depths.”  The prisoners were ordered to strip.  They were led to the secluded place of execution.  There was a pause.  Naked under the scaffold, Bonhoeffer knelt for the last time to pray. Five minutes later his life was ended.  Three weeks later Hitler committed suicide and the war came to an end.

Sad that Dietrich Bonhoeffer was so close to being set free.  Did he die in vain?  We know he did not.  His life and words still inspire us today.  His struggles were a part of this journey, just as ours are, as well.  But at journey’s end, those who are faithful have a reward worth the wait, worth the struggle.

Come, bless God, all you servants of God!  Lift your praising hands to the Holy Place and bless God.  In turn, may the God of Zion bless you, the God who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 134
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