The Beard of Aaron

My promise in the last post was that I would write something masculine like killing a bear with my bare hands or what not. I can only say that if it happens in this post it will be only for metaphorical purposes. I did, however, have to drown two pigs on the Fourth of July in Bolivia last summer, but that is a different story.

This post has been in my mind for some time and though I had briefly touched on it in the post, “Savages” I wanted to unpack this a bit more. Speaking for guys here (though I am sure the connection is the same with women as well and “sisterhood” can be applied every time the word “brotherhood” is used) there is this need for camaraderie, for brotherhood. This brotherhood has usually been forged most inexorably through the fires of battle and conflict. Men have this almost unexplainable bond of unity because of trials and tribulations.

And though this bond is clearly seen in war it is something even more profound within the Body of Christ. There is still that forging of souls through the baptism of fire and tribulation, but because of the unity in Christ the saints have an eternal bond formed in the heavens. This brotherhood is necessary to our survival on this side of Heaven. Even Solomon who lacked not one thing said, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” The Christian life is not one to be lived alone. The men of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne during World War II found their greatest motivation to fight was to not let their fellow soldiers down. They fought to keep each other alive. How are we, who fight against the spiritual forces of evil, expected to survive without each other?

We must put into practice what the Teacher says: “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him- a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Psalm 133 says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!” I thought this a funny text because of the imagery of Aaron, who must have had a significantly thick beard, drenched with copious amounts of oil. In the Old Testament, Moses had to pour oil on the priests, primarily Aaron, to sanctify and consecrate them for service. God has called us to sanctification, to become more like Him, and this says that dwelling in unity with our brothers helps sanctify us. We must grow which will only happen by being challenged and encouraged by those walking the same path to the same destination.

It is sad that it is such a rare thing to find. King Solomon found it a difficult thing as he says, “One man among a thousand I found.” Usually the greatest things are the rarest and need to be sought and fought for. I encourage those who bear the name of brother to seek that unity. I am most blessed with the greatest brothers and sisters in Christ who love me, and challenge me, and bring me all the closer to the throne of Christ. It is pleasant and good, like oil down the beard, down the beard of Aaron.

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