14 May 2009

The Heart of the Holy Scriptures

If it is true that the Son of God gives His own holy Body and pours out His own precious Blood for us Christians to eat and to drink, then everything about the Christian faith and life is effected by that fact. Or, better to say, everything is governed by that fact, and everything moves to and from that constituting heart and center of real human life with God. How could we possibly think otherwise, unless we do not believe what we confess about the Sacrament?

Here there is the Incarnate God, His Atonement, the fruits of His Cross and Passion, and His Gospel of forgiveness unto life and salvation. Not that the Incarnation, the Atonement, and the sacrifice of the Cross happen in the Sacrament of the Altar, but the content and consequences of those sacred Mysteries are bestowed in this Sacrament; their holy purpose is achieved, their divine goal is accomplished, and their saving benefit is fulfilled in us. This is the very thing that God has desired for us in love, that we should receive Him and His Life into ourselves, into our human flesh and blood, and so abide in Him bodily forever.

When the Lord our God created man in His own Image and Likeness, it was in view of the incarnate Son, Christ Jesus. When He formed man out of the dust of the ground, it was in view of the bodily Resurrection of Christ Jesus from death and the grave. When He fed man in Paradise, and in particular when He planted the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden, it was in view of the Cross and its life-giving fruits.

God feeds man from the beginning, and that is how He shares Himself, His Life and His Love with man. So too, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb in His Kingdom comprises the consummation of all things, the fulfillment of creation and the realization of God's great salvation. The Lord brings us into His house, bids us to recline at His Table, and there He serves us from His own hand with His own Body and Blood.

Everywhere in the Holy Scriptures, God is feeding His people, and in this He is always moving them toward that Meal which is the gift of Himself in the flesh. The fruit of the trees in the garden. The meat of the animals following the Flood. The Passover Lamb. The manna and the quail. The flesh and the fruits of sacrifices, provided as food for the priests and for the people. The milk and honey of the Promised Land. It is all leading to the Body and Blood of the Christ. For Wisdom has built His house and prepared His Feast. The Good Shepherd has spread His Table with the choicest of meats and the finest of wines from an overflowing Chalice of salvation. The loaves and fishes are multiplied to feed the nations, and the Son of Man eats and drinks with sinners.

So, too, the Lord opens the Scriptures to us. He opens our ears, our hearts and minds to comprehend them as all concerning Himself, His Cross and Resurrection. And He catechizes us in this way to bring us to the Breaking of the Bread, wherein He reveals and gives Himself to us. Then our eyes are also opened to recognize Him there, by faith, that we might receive Him with thanksgiving in body and soul. It is to the Holy Communion that the Holy Scriptures lead us. There they culminate and find their fulfillment in the Body and Blood of Christ, the Lord.

If the Holy Scriptures are all about Christ Jesus, as He Himself testifies in St. Luke 24, then they are all about the Supper in which this Crucified and Risen One feeds us with His Body and gives us to drink of His Blood. For He is the Word of God, of whom the Holy Scriptures are but the written testimony. The Sacrament of the Altar is the same Word of God, who has become Flesh, who is given and poured out for us. This is not a tangent but the realized very-goodness of God's Creation, the working out of His Redemption, the gift and bestowal of His Sanctification upon us. Here is the heart of the matter and the center of everything. It is to this flesh and blood of Christ that His Word brings us in love, that we might be forgiven, reconciled to God, redeemed in body and soul, and sanctified in our own flesh and blood unto the life everlasting. Not as a means to some other end, but a bodily participation in that divine life which has no end; a bodily participation, by grace, in that divine nature which Christ, the incarnate Son, eternally shares with His Father and the Holy Spirit.

The proper distinction between the Law and the Gospel is the particularly bright light by which all of Holy Scripture is understood. The path enlighted by that distinction leads us to the Altar, where we are fed with the fruits of our redemption, the Body and Blood of the Lamb who is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. It is upon that Lamb, given and poured out for us Christians to eat and to drink, that the Lamp of the Scriptures shines brightest and best. For His flesh and blood are the beating heart of the Word, by which our flesh and blood are enlivened.

21 comments:

Paul said...

"The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life...by which the Church is kept in being" (CCC 1325).

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

That's a lovely quote, Paul. Thanks for sharing it here.

Betraying my ignorance (or aging memory), help me out with the citation: What is the "CCC"?

Christopher Gillespie said...

Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Well, there you go. I applaud whenever our separated brethren say something right and well.

Thanks for the info, Christopher.

And thanks again for the nice quote, Paul, irrespective of the source ;-)

Scott Diekmann said...

Sublime.

Paul McCain said...

The Lord's Supper is not the heart of the Scriptures, Christ is. The Supper is a beautiful and powerful means Christ uses to deliver His forgiveness, life and Salvation to us, one of several beautiful and powerful means of grace, but it is not "the center of the Scriptures."

This is overstatement, Brother Stuckwisch, well intentioned, but inexact and incorrect.

Paul McCain said...

The center of Scripture is Christ, specifically, the Gospel of justification by grace, through faith, on account of Christ.

Luther properly expresses matters in the Smalcald Articles.

We will now return to the Gospel, which not merely in one way gives us counsel and aid against sin; for God is superabundantly rich [and liberal] in His grace [and goodness]. First, through the spoken Word by which the forgiveness of sins is preached [He commands to be preached] in the whole world; which is the peculiar office of the Gospel. Secondly, through Baptism. Thirdly, through the holy Sacrament of the Altar. Fourthly, through the power of the keys, and also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brethren, Matt. 18:20: Where two or three are gathered together, etc.

TruthQuestioner said...

Out of curiosity, is there a difference between Christ and His Supper?

Or to put it another way, what is the difference between saying that;

- Christ (The God-Man who justifies us by grace and works faith in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit)is the heart of the Scriptures

and

- Christ (The Word made Flesh given to us Christians to eat and to drink)is the heart of the Scriptures ?

Are the two mutually exclusive?

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

I'm not sure what you're reacting to, Paul. The quotes you provide say nothing that I wouldn't wholeheartedly agree with. I have made the Lutheran Confessions my own, because they rightly say what the Lord Himself says. I have certainly not suggested that the Gospel is coterminous with the Sacrament of the Altar, or that the other means of grace do not forgive sins. Nor have I anywhere hinted that Christ is not the center of the Holy Scriptures. In fact, I have said precisely that.

But when you say, in your own words, that the Lord's Supper is a "means Christ uses," and you pointedly set that in contrast to Christ Jesus Himself, then that distinction raises a question in my mind. Help me understand what you mean by that, if you care to. Are the Body and Blood of Christ a "means" distinct from Christ Jesus Himself? Are they simply a "beautiful and powerful means," but somehow something other than the Lord Jesus Christ?

If you want to swap Luther quotes, you know how that game goes. Luther elsewhere says that the Sacrament of the Altar is the Gospel. And when he disagreed with Zwingli on that "one little point" of the Lord's Supper, his conclusion was that Zwingli and his ilk were of a different spirit altogether.

The Lord's Supper is the point at which the incarnate Christ, crucified and risen, gives to us the very Body and Blood that are the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. He does so for the forgiveness of sins, that we may abide in Him, and He in us. And where there is such forgiveness, there is also life and salvation. Here there is the living Lord Himself, in that flesh and blood by which He has become like us, with which He has atoned for our sins and reconciled us to God, and in which He unites Himself to us.

So how do you set this in contrast to Christ Himself and His Gospel and the doctrine of justification? Seriously. What is the point that you are making, or what is it that you disagree with in what I have written?

I would argue that the danger has not been found in identifying the Lord's Supper too closely with Christ and His Gospel, but in setting it aside and apart, as though it were nothing more than a means to some other end; as though it were only a tool, rather than a "foretaste of the Feast to come."

The Body and Blood of Christ are not a lesser presence of God than the Glory of the Lord that resided in the Holy of Holies already in the Tabernacle in the wilderness. They are, in fact, the Body and Blood of God Himself, His Glory and His gracious presence among us for the sake of our salvation. We do well to consider and ponder the significance of that.

The beautiful quote from the Smalcald Articles notwithstanding (it is one of my all-time favorite confessional quotes, as my members could testify), it is not helpful to flatten out the "means of grace" (or even the "Sacraments") as though there were first of all these broad and general categories and only afterwards the specifics. It wasn't even that long ago that someone reminded me of the good advice of Dr. Nagel (such as I myself have often given), that each of the Sacraments should be dealt with on the basis of its own propria. To say that the Holy Communion is the culmination and center of things, is not to say that Holy Baptism and Holy Absolution and the preaching of the Gospel are marginalized or relativized. I have neither said nor suggested any such thing! It is rather to identify the proper place which the Sacrament of the Altar holds, in relation to everything else. Holy Baptism is foundational, and the preaching of the Gospel is fundamental, and Holy Absolution is a focused means of that very thing for which the entire Church is structured, that is, the forgiveness of sins. But the Sacrament of the Altar is the heart and center to which all of these means of the Gospel point, and to which all of these means of the Gospel bring us; because, in the Sacrament of the Altar, there is the bodily presence and gift of the incarnate Son of God, the Crucified and Risen One.

The catechesis of our Lord Jesus Himself in St. Luke 24 is of even greater authority and significance than the confession of the blessed Dr. Luther. There Jesus opens the Holy Scriptures in such a way as to bring His disciples to recognize and receive Him in the Breaking of the Bread. That is where He and His forgiveness and His life and salvation are to be found (by grace through faith in His righteouness). Which is why it is an error, and it misses the point, to say that the center of the Holy Scriptures is Christ but not the Lord's Supper.

The Lord's Supper is the heart and center of the Holy Scriptures; precisely because the incarnate Lord, Christ Jesus, crucified for our transgressions and raised for our justification, is the heart and center of the Holy Scriptures. There are not two Lords, but one Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul said...

I imagine that otherwise well-meaning people either don't want to or cannot see the Eucarist as the heart and center of Scripture, the life of the Church etc. because it appears to differ or depart from the forensic declaration model of justification or fail to see communion/relationship as heart of the Good News, as the whole raison d'etre of forgiveness, life and salvation.

WM Cwirla said...

There is a subtle yet important distinction between saying Christ's Body and Blood are present in the Sacrament and Christ is the Sacrament. The original post seems to suggest the latter. One can have Christ without the Sacrament (as Luther suggested to the Bohemians in 1523 that it would be better to go a lifetime without the Lord's Supper than to celebrate it in a doubtful manner without a pastor). We no more say "Christ is the Sacrament" than we say "God is the Bible."

Christ is certainly the heart of the Scriptures, as He is also the center of the Sacrament. But to make the Sacrament the heart of the Scriptures is, in a sense, to make one sacramental sign (the Lord's Supper) the center of another sacramental sign (the Scriptures) which leads to a circular way of speaking.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Thank you for your comments and cautions, Pastor Cwirla. Perhaps this is also what Pastor McCain is getting at with his concerns.

I would certainly not suggest that Christ is the Sacrament; though He is Himself THE primordial Sacrament, as some of our Roman brethren have liked to say in recent decades.

As I have attempted to clarify, both in my comments here and in my subsequent post, to speak of the Holy Communion as the heart and center of the Holy Scriptures and of the Christian faith and life, is not to suggest that the Holy Communion is the only thing. I would say that the Lord's Supper bears upon everything else, and that everything pertains to the Lord's Supper; but I would not say or suggest that the Lord's Supper is everything. Maybe that clarification is helpful.

Here is what I find in the Holy Scriptures: God is always feeding His people, from the beginning of creation to the consummation of all things. Everywhere His gift of life and salvation is connected to eating and drinking the food that He provides in His presence.

He gives daily bread to feed His creation, and He does so with His created gifts; but ultimately He feeds man with Himself. In the Sacrament of the Altar, the redemption and sanctification of Creation is conjoined with the Lord's gracious self-giving, so that man is fed upon God to live. I believe this is the heart and center of the Holy Scriptures, of the Christian faith and life, and of the Lord's great salvation; not because Christ is the Supper, but because the Supper is Christ -- Christ precisely as the One who has been crucified for us, and raised for our justification, and in His blessed giving of Himself to us for life with God in Him.

Consider what is at the center of the Garden of Eden: The Tree of Life. Consider those constitutive events of the Exodus: the Passover, the Manna in the wilderness, the Covenant at Sinai, all of them types of the Sacrament, as the Holy Scriptures testify and as Martin Chemnitz takes up in his treatise on the Lord's Supper. The Holy Land is described repeatedly as the land flowing with milk and honey and other good gifts of food, including tremendous clusters of grapes, which are also taken up as a sign of the New Creation. The heart and center of the Tabernacle and of the Temple is the Holy of Holies, specifically the mercy seat, upon which the sacrifice of Atonement is made. Christ is that Sacrifice, once for all, who feeds us with the very body and blood of His Sacrifice. In the presence of that Mercy Seat is the Bread with which God feeds His priests.

At the center of heaven, as St. John sees revealed to him, stands the Lamb who has been slain; who was dead, but, behold, He is alive forevermore. The Lamb of God is not only sacrificed but eaten; and in the giving of His Body and the pouring out of His Blood, He is given and received for us Christians to eat and to drink precisely as the One who has been slain, but who is risen and alive.

His Resurrection is proclaimed, already by Isaiah, as the preparation of a great banquet of choice meats and fine wine on the holy mountain of God. The Good Shepherd prepares His Table and His Chalice, as Wisdom has built His House and prepared His banquet. He feeds His sheep and lambs, and He does so with nothing less than Himself, the Lamb who has given Himself for them.

So Jesus comes eating and drinking with sinners. And His witnesses, chosen beforehand by God, are those who eat and drink with Him after He has risen from the dead. They know Him in the Breaking of the Bread, and so it is the Breaking of the Bread that comprises the life of the early Church, day by day by day.

My point is that God has created man to live from His hand, to eat and to drink from His hand; to eat and drink God Himself in the flesh. This, I believe, is why the Hebrew word for soul is tied to the word for throat: we live in and with God, in body and soul, as we live by and from His feeding of us with His food and drink. In the Lord's Supper, He is already doing that, already feeding us with Himself as our meat and drink indeed, as He shall do forever in the Resurrection, in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, which has no end.

If everything is so arranged for the forgiving of sins, as I believe and confess that it is, then I would suggest that it is also so arranged for the feeding and forgiving of sinners at the Table of Christ Jesus. For He enters in and bids His servants to recline at His Table, and He girds Himself to serve them; He is among us precisely as the One who so serves; and His Divine Service, which includes His washing and His catechizing of us, centers and culminates in His feeding of us with His holy Body and precious Blood. That is the key, I maintain, to the right reading and preaching of the Holy Scriptures.

WM Cwirla said...

"Here is what I find in the Holy Scriptures: God is always feeding His people, from the beginning of creation to the consummation of all things. Everywhere His gift of life and salvation is connected to eating and drinking the food that He provides in His presence."

I think the problem with the original post can also be found here. God is certain "always" feeding His people, and certainly communion with God entails eating and drinking with God, but it also entails recreating and renewing (Flood, Red Sea, Baptism) and teaching (Torah, Word).

Perhaps the solution would be to modify the original premise. Instead of saying that the Sacrament is the heart of the Scriptures, one might say that communion with God is at the heart of the Scriptures, which would place Christ who reconciles God and Man at the center together with all His manifold reconciling activities - recreating, renewing, feeding, teaching.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

I'll think about what you are saying, Pastor Cwirla, but I do not find that your points about the other things the Lord is doing contradict my original premise. To say that the Sacrament is the heart of the matter is not at all to deny that there are many other things going on. To speak of the Holy of Holies at the heart of the Temple is not to deny the Temple.

Of course God is recreating, renewing, redeeming and reconciling, etc. All of these things, however, will reach their completion in the Resurrection; whereas His feeding never ends. Indeed, it is in terms of the Feast that heaven itself it described, when all things have been made new, the eternal Eight Day of the new creation, wherein there is no longer any need for redemption or reconciliation.

I'd be more inclined to agree with you that the Lord's teaching is on par with His feeding, except that His creative Word not only brings forth flesh in the beginning, but the Word Himself becomes flesh -- the very flesh with which He feeds us. The Communion that God grants us with Himself is consummated in the eating and drinking of His own flesh and blood. This is why I have described the Holy Communion as the heart of the Lord's self-revelation, and therefore as the heart of His Holy Scriptures; without denying or denigrating the preaching and teaching and catechesis of His Word.

The teaching of God culminates in the Father's speaking His Son to us. This He does in the flesh. And that speaking of the incarnate Son brings us to that Holy of Holies made without hands, to the Altar from which we are given to eat and drink. I find this to be exactly the thrust of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Everything moves toward the flesh and blood of Christ, which are the means by which we reside in the very presence of God; and these are the very gifts with which He feeds us, as the most intimate communion.

That is how it seems to me. But, as I say, I will ponder your words, Pastor Cwirla. I am always seeking ways to speak and confess more clearly and faithfully the Gospel of Christ Jesus. So thank you for your comments.

Paul McCain said...

one might say that communion with God is at the heart of the Scriptures, which would place Christ who reconciles God and Man at the center together with all His manifold reconciling activities - recreating, renewing, feeding, teaching.That is particularly well said. One might also say simply that the Blessed and Most Holy Trinity is the center of Scripture, as He is of all things, to Him be the glory—at the center with all His manifold activities: creating, recreating, renewing, cleansing, forgiving, feeding, teaching, healing, etc. etc.

That would be the better way and more in keeping with the pattern of sound words.

This is an interesting conversation.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Once you put everything in the center, then you're not really saying anything at all.

I'm not sure what it means that the Holy Trinity is "of all things." But I certainly don't dispute that He is all in all. Yet, in love, He reveals and gives Himself to man, whom He has created for the sake of love, that man might live in communion with Him. So the point at hand is how He bestows that communion, and of what that communion consists.

I have offered numerous texts and examples from the Holy Scriptures to make the case that God's feeding of man, ultimately with Himself in the flesh as the Food, is the center and culmination of His self-giving and His gracious gift of communion. I have clarified that this is certainly not the only thing that God does, but have indicated, again with the witness of the Holy Scriptures, that God's feeding of His people holds a uniquely significant place in the way that He reveals and gives and shares Himself, His Life and His salvation with man: from the Garden of Eden to the Marriage Feast of the Lamb in His Kingdom, which has no end. The Psalms speak this way, as do the Prophets, and our Lord and His Holy Apostles.

It appears to me that the pattern of sound words, such as we are given by the Lord in His Prophetic and Apostolic Scriptures, speaks of His economy of salvation in terms of that Feast which He prepares and with which He serves His people with Himself. The Lord's Supper is already the foretaste of that very neverending Feast, in which no one else than the Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior and Redeemer, the only-begotten Son of the Father, the incarnate God, gives Himself to us as our meat and drink indeed.

What other activity of God is set forth in the Holy Scriptures with such central significance and as the crescendo of His great salvation?

Paul McCain said...

Rick, as I'm sure you would agree I'm not "putting everything at the center" of Scripture. So, I'm not sure what you mean by that, since that's not what any of us are doing in this conversation.

The more I mull your mullings, I can't shake my opinion that to declare the Lord's Supper to be "the center" of Scripture is misaken.

It is central, but not at the center. I believe Brother Cwirla has made a very good point.

It is God who is the "center" not a means of His grace.

Now, I would agree with you about how in the Supper we have a crescendo, to be sure, but "the" center? I think that is saying too much to be, ultimately, helpful.

Could we agree that Walther well expressed matters when he preached:

"The Lutheran Reformation, however, was complete not only in the destruction and tearing down of all the idols which had been erected in the church, but also in bringing forth its treasures and in setting up its truly sacred possessions. Luther followed not only the principle, "truth and nothing but the truth," but also the principle, "and the whole truth." Therefore, through his efforts, not only this and that truth, not just half the truth, but the whole truth of Holy Scripture was opened for the church, was used, and made the Christians' common possession. Not only did the Lutheran Reformation get all its doctrines out of the marble quarry of the written Word of God, but there is no doctrine of the Word of God which it did not place on the candlesticks of the church like a heavenly light in its purity. This includes the doctrine concerning God as well as the doctrine concerning man; the doctrine concerning the foundation of salvation as well as those concerning the means of salvation and the order of salvation; the doctrine concerning faith as well as those concerning love and hope. The whole counsel of God for man's salvation was clearly and purely brought to the light of day out of the gold mine of Scripture, beginning with the doctrine of justification; namely, that a man is righteous before God and can be saved only by grace through faith in Christ without the merits of works. This laid the foundation on which the whole Christian doctrinal edifice rises like a holy diamond temple. In its holy of holies the New Testament mercy seat of the holy sacraments and the absolution is enthroned."

(Excerpt of C. F. W. Walther's 1858 Reformation sermon published in "Gottesdienst: A Quarterly Journal of the Evangelical-Lutheran Liturgy" Michaelmas 2000, Volume 8 Number 3 (2000:3), p. 12.)

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Perhaps you are correct, Pastor McCain. I will mull over your comments and those of Pastor Cwirla, to consider whether I might make the point with greater clarity. At the moment, we seem to be speaking past each other; which suggests that I have not been as clear as I ought to be in my observations and remarks.

For my part, I have not intended to suggest that anything other than the Holy Triune God is, well, God. If I have given some impression to the contrary, I repent.

When I speak of the Holy Scriptures and of the Christian faith and life, I am speaking of the economy of salvation, that is, the where and how of God's gracious dealings with man. How does He reveal Himself, give Himself, and share Himself with man? I have tried to demonstrate that what I find in the Holy Scriptures is the culmination of this "economy" in the Lord's feeding of man with Himself, in His own body of flesh and blood. I am struck by how persisently it is this language of the Feast that is taken up by the Holy Scriptures, really from beginning to the "no-end" of the Eighth Day. It punctuates the history of Israel, the prayer of the Psalms and the proclamation of the Prophets. It is manifested in the life of Christ and revealed to His holy Apostle, St. John. And, to the point, it is already given and received in the Divine Service, as per His divine institution. In the actual living of the Church in the Kingdom of God, this Meal of Christ is where everything comes to its peace and rest in Him.

That is what I have meant to say when I have spoken of the Lord's Supper as the "heart" and "center" of things.

In any event, you have agreed that the Lord's Supper is "central," so I'm honestly not sure where there is any substantial disagreement between us. But perhaps I am not only unclear in what I have said, but unclear as to what you have meant.

My comment about putting "everything at the center" was a case of hyperbole. Of course you are not putting "everything" at the center; but you are putting quite a lot there, or so it has seemed. And the more you put at the center, the bigger your "center" becomes, until it is soon the entire thing, rather than the real center of things. That was all I meant.

I suspect that I am using terms in a way that is giving a different connotation than I actually intend. Thank you for your patience in following my efforts to "think out loud" with clarity.

Paul McCain said...

For my part, I have not intended to suggest that anything other than the Holy Triune God is, well, God. If I have given some impression to the contrary, I repent.Huh? I never thought you did, even remotely.

I just think that referring to the Lord's Supper as the heart of the Bible is imprecise.

I think I much prefer Walther's "holy of holies" talk, seems more...Biblical, and perhaps subject to less possibility of confusion.

Can we agree that in the Church today the Lord's Supper is the holy of holies in our lives as God's people and thus is the holy of holies of the New Testament?

Perhaps, if I may suggest this respectfully, perhaps this would be an even more powerful way to make your point about the centrality of the eating and drinking of the sacrifice once for all offered for the sins of the world?

Thanks for your thoughts, Pr. Stuckwisch.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Speaking of the Lord's Supper as the Holy of Holies is pretty much exactly what I have intended to say. So, yes, that works for me.

If I had any caveats, it would only be that, properly speaking, the Cup of Christ IS the "New Testament," for which the Apostolic Scriptures have also been named. Which, perhaps, speaks to my point and premise.

However, it may be that my shorthand way of speaking of the "Heart" of the Holy Scriptures has caused some confusion. I've been thinking here in terms of a hermeneutical key, related to and similar to the "proper distinction of the Law and the Gospel." In other words, I would suggest, the reading and preaching of the Holy Scriptures is rightly undertaken with a view toward the gathering of God's people unto Himself in the Communion of His own Body and Blood. In that, He brings us into the Holy of Holies made without hands, eternal in the heavens, in the flesh of Christ, the Lamb.

Paul McCain said...

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Psalm 133:1