By Mick Smith
I really do like classical music. I appreciate the works of composers like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Corelli, Mozart, Dvorak, Vivaldi, Handel, Schubert and Chopin. They all have an obvious and outstanding ability to produce works that are immensely pleasurable (to anyone who has an ear for such).I am amazed that there are such gifted people who can write music for so many different instruments that, when performed together, result in something so sweet sounding, pleasurable and harmonious.
Harmony is a musical term that indicates a combination of musical tones and notes. It is different to the melody but harmony and melody always compliment each other. It's the harmony that adds to the melody so that the result is one to be appreciated, pleasing and savoured.
However, harmony does not just apply to musical presentations. It can be expressed in other ways. For example when people live their lives in harmony it is something, I am convinced, that God enjoys and appreciates.
George Washington once stated "My disposition leads me towards peace and harmony with others. Such harmony assists me to avoid any personal feud with those who have embarked on the same great national interest as me. But it also allows me to disagree with those same people at times." What strikes me about that quote is that if he could express that view with national interest at heart how much more is it an aim for harmony in the kingdom of God.
Are you doubting the possibility of us all living together in harmony? Does it sound impossible? Well there is a place where over one thousand people live together in harmony every day of their lives. It's a town called Harmony in Fillmore County, Minnesota in the United Staes of America. The people there must, from time to time, disagree with one another but they still live in Harmony.
That set me thinking. We have heard much about togetherness at different times this year. The Bible is very clear about togetherness and living together in harmony. For example husbands and wives are to live together in harmony ( Ephesians5:22-23 & Colossians3:18-22). All who are followers of Jesus are very much encouraged to live together in harmony (Romans15:5-7 &16-18) as we follow the example of Jesus.
How about living in harmony with those of other faiths? Can that be possible? What about living in harmony with anyone outside our faith? The answer is "Yes". We can disagree with them about the essentials of faith whilst agreeing with them, and with God, about the value of mankind. We are to value all life whilst holding on to our core beliefs.
Even amongst our own Christian community we are not always going to agree on everything. In fact we don't have to always agree in our opinions as long as we ensure, to the best of our ability, to be agreeable in our dispositions and attitudes to one another. While ever we agree on the major truths of our Christian faith it's ok to disagree on the minor issues of the faith (obviously as long as we do so without disturbing the harmony between us).
What's the secret? How can we live in such harmony? Remember the example that Jesus set as the pioneer of our faith. He lived His life on Earth in such harmony with His Father that He could truly say that He and His Father were one.
Can we do it? Yes we can!!! (Sorry about that I must have been watching too many Bob the builder stories). We don't have to live in Minnesota in the United States of America. We can do it right here where we are as we realise that it is love that binds everything together in perfect harmony (Colossians3:14).
So, as we move from 2018 in to a new year, let us do all we can to ensure that our own lives are hitting the right notes that will gel with other lives in our church and the melody will produce a harmony that is pleasing to God who is well pleased when brothers live together in unity and harmony. I'm not one for making new year resolutions but I am all for exercising determination in a resolute manner. How about you? Have a happy and harmonious 2019. Now there's a thought.
Psalm 133:1 behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity
1 Peter3:8 finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.