Summary: A sermon for Heritage Sunday: Unity is ordained by God and must be the mark of a healthy church family.
Title: Job 1
Scripture: Psalm 133
A Sermon for Heritage Sunday
Has anyone here ever heard the slogan “Quality is Job 1?” Yes, that is the slogan from Ford Motor Company, made popular in the 1980’s. I’d like to give you a little history on how this slogan came to be:
Job 1 actually refers to the 1st car of a new model that comes off of the assembly line. What an exciting time that is! A new model rolls off the line, full of promise and expectations. All of the marketing and advertising is prepared to get things kicked off so that people will want to run right out and buy a new Ford product.
Back in the 70-80’s however, Ford was rolling out many new models but they were also getting more than their share of complaints about those new cars. Employees began to worry about whether or not Ford would be able to roll off new models if people were complaining so much. Everyone was focused on job one – getting newer models off of the line. No one was focused on the quality of those products or on customer satisfaction.
The CEO’s and the Directors of the company began to realize that they were going to have to do things differently if job one, getting the new models off the line, was going to continue to bring success to the company.
They went back to the roots of the company. They began to realize that they had indeed gotten away from many things as they had focused only on job one. They had forgotten that they were a family started and owned business. They had forgotten that people should be their focus – the people who worked for them, the people who sold cars for them, the people who bought cars for them. And if people were the focus, then they had better have a quality product that the company could stand behind and be proud of.
The slogan, “Quality is Job One” was born. The company changed their focus from just making cars to caring about making cars that focused on people. They began to make customer service Job One. They began to make employee satisfaction job one. Quality, in all areas of the company, was job one. And sales went out the roof.
In 1988, the company set an industry record when their worldwide earnings reached $5.3 billion – the highest to date for any automotive company.
Success came when the focus of the company changed. Sure, they had been successful before but they realized that they had to change in order to stay successful. They had to focus on what brought success to the company, and that wasn’t the cars, that was the people.
We must ask ourselves, what brings success to a church? I believe that the answer is in the Psalm before us today. This Psalm was written to celebrate the gathering of Jews at one of the festivals they were required by law to attend. It celebrates their coming together to worship God, much like we have come together today.
I. The Psalm writer first tells us that God’s people were created for unity.
A. In these three short verses, the psalm writer is clear about what he means by unity.
1. It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.
a. Now this imagery may not be familiar or exciting to us today, but it was very meaningful to the people living when the psalm was written.
b. We must remember that Aaron was Moses’ brother, and in the exodus story was designated as a priest and head of the priestly line (Exodus 28-29).
c. The oil spoken of here is that of the anointing of the priest in the midst of his people. The oil is referred to as ‘precious’, in Hebrew literally ‘good’, linking the act of anointing the priest to the “goodness and pleasantness” of living together in unity.
d. Living together, in unity, is no less refreshing, is no less important, than the oil which was poured forth upon Aaron’s head at the time of his consecration to the priestly office.
2. The second metaphor states, “It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.”
a. Living together in unity is as desirable as the dew which falls upon Mount Hermon.
b. Mt. Hermon, is the highest mountain in Israel, Lebanon, and Syria, located in the far north of the country of Israel. It is often snow capped, and from springs at its base, the waters that feed the Jordan River are issued. In the image the whole land of Zion is seen as being fed by the ‘dew of Hermon’.