Tag Archives: Harmony

15 Ailments of the Church #5: Working Without Coordination

Read 1 Corinthians 12:20-30

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35 NLT)

cso_muti_aboutMusic is the thing that makes the world go ’round. It is the key to the universe, the universal language, something that affects all it comes in contact with. Right? There are studies that even state that music positively affects plant-life, so the next time you try to plant a garden make sure it is close to the bathroom window so the plants can hear you singing in the shower. All jokes aside, music has long been thought to be a driving force of the universe. Pythagoras discovered the mathematical basis of music and also noticed the same patterns of movements of the moon, the stars and the planets. Interesting, right? What’s more interesting is how this all connects to the Pope Francis I’s 5th ailment of the church.

5th Ailment of the Church: Working without coordination, like an orchestra that produces noise. A symphony works when instruments, each playing different parts at the same time, come together to produce a harmony of notes. We call that harmony a “chord”. Music is made up of these chords and what makes music different from “noise” is that the notes and chords coming from the instruments are all working together harmoniously. But what happens when the guitar decides to play a G major when it is supposed to be a flat, and when the Clarinet decides to play the fifth measure at the precise moment it is supposed to be playing the thirty-fifth, and the violin decides that it is going to play staccato when it should be playing legato, etc.? What happens when the pianist decides to play Liszt’s version of Danse Macabre while the choir is supposed to be singing the final movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony? The result would truly be NOISE! There would be no harmony and everything would be chaotic and discordant.

The truth of the matter is that Paul’s letter to the church of Corinth has become so cliché anymore that we completely overlook his call for the church to view itself organically as the body of Christ, made up of many parts. We use the phrase “body of Christ” so much that it has become meaningless for us. We all fight and bicker and politically maneuver around other brothers and sisters in Christ in order to get what we want. Christ stated that we would be known as his followers because of our love for one another and, yet, we seemingly don’t have a whole lot of love for one another, do we? When Paul said that we are “the body”, he didn’t mean that YOU are the body of Christ, just that you are a part of it. And by part, he didn’t mean that you were the best part, or the greatest part, or the most important part, but that you were a part being called to do your part.

But again, that has become very cliché; so, perhaps it is best to look at this in terms of an orchestra.This is not the Todd Lattig show, or the Pope Francis I show, or the United Methodist Show, or the Roman Catholic show, or the Baptist show, or the Evangelical, non-denominational show; rather, this is the Jesus Christ show and we have all been invited to participate in making music for Jesus Christ. NOTE: I am talking about making “Christian Music”, but about being a part of the symphony that God has been writing since the outset of the world. It’s a love song, a kind of transcendent number that moves within you and and changes you. It is the kind of number that has you both dancing and standing timelessly still in infinite space. The question is, can you lay down your ego to join this orchestra? Can you make music, or are just going to keep on making noise? The choice is yours. Continually pray that the church, yourself included, will give up its self-motivated pride in order to see that the true SELF is Christ and that we are all a part CHRIST’s SELF. Now that is a song that transcends NOISE and is worth listening to!

THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.” – Gaius Sallustius Crispus

PRAYER
Lord, daily remind me that my life is yours and that I am a part of something far greater than myself. Amen.

Let Harmony Ring

Read Psalm 133

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE

“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.” (Galatians 5:13-15)

elements_of_harmony_circle__vector__by_akili_amethyst-d5fxotcEvery person who has ever walked the earth has run into somebody at some point that they just don’t like. Perhaps the person seems snooty, or they just rub you the wrong way; we have all had the experience of being around people who seem to clash with our personalities and sensibilities. It is an unavoidable consequence to living in a community.

I have often heard some even state that they “hate” people out of frustration because of the way someone else treated them. To be completely honest, I have found myself uttering those words…especially when I used to commute long distances in heavy traffic. I have no doubt that I am not alone when I say that there are times I wish I were alone with no one else around to cut me off, give me attitude, or say something hurtful to me.

Yet, when we stop to think about it, the alternative is far, far worse. Just take a moment and try and imagine a world in which you truly were alone. Try and imagine a world where there was, literally, no one around to “bother” you. What kind of world would that be? How would you truly manage without the presence of others? How would you survive even a day without others to socially interact with?

There are many movies that try and picture what such an apocalyptic world would look like, where a person wakes up to find him or herself isolated in a world where no other human life exists. These films usually throw in zombies or other human survivors and never really explore what life alone would truly be like. Perhaps that is because life alone is something we really cannot fathom…it’s something that goes against our very nature and experience as human beings.

As children of God, we were designed to be in relationship with one another. We were called to live in harmony with other people. Some people get the idea that harmony means that we all hold hands and agree to skip down the yellow brick road together; however, that is not true harmony at all. Harmony is not someone always agreeing with me and what I believe to be correct; rather, harmony happens when people simultaneously put aside their differences to find common ground to stand on.

Harmony takes work. It does not come easy; however, we were created to live harmoniously with each other. God does not wish for us to gossip, slander, hold grudges, or be hateful toward others; rather, God wants us to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good and faithful toward one another. We should be striving to bring harmony into our communities, not discord.

Today’s challenge for us is to be agents of harmony. There are plenty of people who will rub us the wrong way, there are plenty of people who we will not particularly like, and there are certainly plenty of people who are different than us. Today we are being challenged to look past that and to see the commonality that we all share together…the commonality of being children of God, made in God’s image. Look past the differences, allow for people to be who they are, and love them as God loves them. Let the harmonizing begin!

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

“Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” – The Apostle Paul in Romans 12:16

PRAYER

Lord, I pray that I may become an agent of harmony within the communities I am a part of. Amen.