Tag Archives: Harmony

Beauty of Harmony

It was a beautiful sight. All of Israel coming together to anoint David their king. The Bible records the Elders of Israel telling David they knew the Lord had chosen him. So, David made a covenant with the leaders of Israel before the Lord, and they anointed him king. Israel was experiencing unity and harmony at this time.

It may have been this event that prompted David to write the words of Psalm 133, reflecting on the beauty of harmony:

How wonderful and pleasant it is
    when brothers live together in harmony!
For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil
    that was poured over Aaron’s head,
    that ran down his beard
    and onto the border of his robe.
Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon
    that falls on the mountains of Zion.
And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing,
    even life everlasting.

These words remind us of the beauty and peace harmony and unity bring. A harmonious and unified people of God have changed lives in the past, and can still change lives today. We may have our differences, but we also have common ground. We are all in need of the transforming work of the cross.

Max Lucado writes:

I spoke at each Good Friday service of a nearby Episcopal church for many years. On one occasion, I shared the responsibility with the bishop of the diocese of West Texas. He wore a robe and a large gold cross around his neck. My church background didn’t make me too keen on preachers wearing religious jewelry. So, I was less than impressed. And, I confess, even a bit judgmental.

But as he shared the story behind his gold cross, my attitude began to change. In order to assume his role as bishop, he had to leave behind St. Mark’s Episcopal, a church where he was loved dearly. The people tried to talk him into staying, but he felt it was God’s will to leave. The members, then, expressed their gratitude by making him this cross. Two hundred and forty-two households contributed gold pieces which were melted down and forged together. Some of the gold provided was from the wedding bands of widow and widowers. Three couples who had divorced and then reconciled each gave a set of wedding rings to the cross. One friend of the bishop was a bachelor who was rejected by “the love of his life” just days before the ceremony contributed her ring to the cross as a symbolic surrendering of the pain of his lost love. The cross includes a college ring as well as the bridge from a fellow bishop’s mouth. One mom donated some gold beads. When her son was four, he found them on a dresser, thought they were toys and damaged them. He died soon thereafter in an accident. She donated them on the day before what would have been his seventh birthday.

Two hundred and forty-two stories. Stories of celebration, stories of sorrow. Stories of peace, stories of pain. But when forged together they form the cross of Christ.

What happened literally with the bishop’s cross happens spiritually in every church that devotes itself to fellowship. When your story intermingles with mine, and our stories interweave with others, the cross is formed. When one hand holds another in a hospital, the cross is lifted up. When a conservative loves a liberal; when an Anglo seeks to understand a Hispanic; when the redneck and the tree-hugger stand side by side at the communion table, the cross is lifted up.

No matter our backgrounds, our socioeconomic status, or our political views, we have one thing in common. We’re all in need of grace, and when we share grace with one another, the cross is what is lifted up. How can you lift up the cross today?

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Love Endures

Love conquers all.

Dear Hate by Maren Morris is a powerful reminder of hate’s grip and love’s conquering power.

The battle between hate and love has existed since Adam and Eve were in the garden. The disgusting work of hate ensnares us, but love has the power to conquer everything. Love conquers the divides between people, love heals the wounds inflicted by hate, and love mends the broken heart. Love has the power to overcome anything hate throws our way.

1 Corinthians 13:6-8 says, “Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

The Bible gives us a glimpse into the end of the battle between hate and love. Love conquers all. God is love and nothing has the power to stand in his way. His grace and mercy will win.

Meanwhile, as the battle rages, you and I have the challenge to be messengers of love.

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One Promise

Many People, Same Promise

They came from a variety of backgrounds and places. Some were of Jewish descent while others shared a different heritage. Some were poor and could barely make ends meet while others had plenty of wealth. They lived in different locations and celebrated different cultures. They were a diverse people, but they received the same promise.

They received the promise presented by Christ. That is, forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God through grace. This was the same promise for everyone.

Paul writes to the Galatians in chapter 3, “So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ than you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs, according to the promise.”

The promise was offered to everyone and the only deciding factor was acceptance. The Lord only looked at the heart and nothing else.

The Lord has not changed. He still only looks at the heart and nothing else. You and I may be part of a diverse group of people, but the promise made to us is the same. We come from a wide variety of backgrounds and places, but we can share in the Lord’s grace.

The Bible challenges us to look at one another’s heart rather than outward appearance. How well do you and I meet this challenge?

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The labor of unity.

Intending to raise cattle, a New York family purchased a ranch in Kansas. They could not agree on the name of the ranch, and when a family friend visited, the would-be rancher explained the disagreement.

“I wanted to name the ranch the Barr J, my wife favored the Susie Q, one of our sons wanted the Flying W, and the other son preferred the Lazy Y,” explained the rancher, “so we named it the Barr J Susie Q Flying W Lazy Y Ranch.”

The friend asked, “Where are all your cattle?”

“They did not survive the branding,” stated the rancher.

Disagreement usually brings about disaster, while unity brings peace. In Ephesians 4, Paul implores us to labor for unity in love.

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.”

As Christians, our attitude should be one of humility, patience, and gentleness. When we see others hurting, we should have a desire to act. Our actions should bring with them meaningful results.

Max Lucado asks, “Is your attitude toward other believers marked by love, humility, patience, and gentleness? Paul encouraged us to display unity in the body of Christ and accept one another in love. If you are not doing that, check your attitudes. Your spiritual gifts and talents should help bring the body of Christ together.”

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Coming Together

Harmony brings joy, refreshment, and well-being.

The worshipers of the Lord in David’s day had some differences. They came from different parts of the country, they descended from different tribes or were immigrants to Israel, and they did not all look exactly the same. With all these differences, they did have common ground.

They traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate feasts. No matter their heritage, socioeconomic status, or looks, every follower of the Lord traveled to Jerusalem. As they traveled up the mountain road to the city, they would recite Psalms. One such Psalm is Psalm 133.

“How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony. For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard, and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon, that falls on the mountains of Zion, and there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting,” writes David in Psalm 133.

This Psalm reminds you and me harmony is beautiful. It brings joy and refreshment. Living harmoniously is what is best for all. David reminds us the Lord blesses harmony.

Today, we still find differences. Geography, race, ethnicity, economics, and more create differences between us and our neighbors, yet we have common ground. The Lord’s grace is available to us. On the night of Jesus’ birth, the angel told the shepherds, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

God does not restrict salvation to one people group. It is available to all, and the Bible challenges us to live in harmony with one another.

Scripture implores us to make every effort to keep the unity of the bond of peace. This is certainly hard work, and involves listening rather than shouting, respecting rather than destroying, and promoting peace over agitation. Psalm 133 reminds us the Lord blesses harmony.

Can I suggest we step back and ask ourselves how well we are doing at living in harmony with our neighbor?