By Not Known
Live in harmony with one another (Rom 12:16). The English word ‘harmony’ has the sense of things being brought into right order or balance. This is true with sounds (music); shape (design); and colours (art). It is also true between people. Harmony between people means a right balance in which we respect and celebrate the distinctiveness of each. It means unity without uniformity and diversity without divisiveness.
Harmony is easier to define than to create. This is because of our sinfulness. One definition of sin is that it is a refusal to live in harmony with God, because we reject our proper place in relation to him. It is sad to read how our lack of harmony with God then spills over into a lack of harmony with our physical environment, with ourselves and with one another (Gen 3 and 4). In short, we are at war with the world because we are at war with God.
Today’s passage (Rom 12:3-21) lists some things we can do to increase harmony between people: having a good sense of what we can and cannot do (v3); holding to sincere love (v9); being devoted to each other (v10); honouring others above ourselves (v10); sharing possessions and showing hospitality (v13); identifying with one another’s situation (v15); being humble (v15) and; especially, being kind to our enemies (v14,17-21).
These are good habits to cultivate and encourage in ourselves and in one another. However our efforts to create harmony with each other will have only limited benefit unless we first deal with our fundamental disharmony. Until we have harmony with God, we cannot have it with one another.
In today’s Communion service we remember that God practised what he preached. He tells us to love our enemies and that’s exactly what he did (Rom 5:8). In the death of Jesus, God addressed our fundamental disharmony by making a peace offering. We are enabled to create harmony with others as we come under the transforming power of the Cross. In short, God’s peace with us enables us to live at peace with one another.
So, let’s seek to live in right balance within ourselves and with others in our family, workplace, church and friendship circles. But, let us first seek harmony with God through the Cross that we remember today.