Psalm 133:1 (Good News Translation) “How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God’s people to live together in harmony. It is like…”
I was blessed to be raised in a home where harmony was a part of daily life. Born into a Pastor’s home, music was a significant part of our existence. We sang; grace at the table, hymns at bedtime, praise at worship and devotions, and I was in choir in church, school, or community from early elementary to today. I have sung under directors of renown and with people whose voices and instrumentation were without compare. The pieces I clearly remember were so masterfully crafted with syncopation and interval that once memorized, they continue to play in my mind as a masterpiece! (I love singing the Hallelujah Chorus when I can draw from my own experience and join with those who perform along with me.)
The remarkable nature of “harmony” is that each voice or instrument has its own quality, and each part has its own rhythm and tone. It takes a lot of practice to hold to a scripted pattern so that the individual tones would work together, creating a masterpiece.
I find it interesting that one of the most difficult tasks in a piece is to be in “unison”! To have the whole choir, band or orchestra play a single note or one that is octaves apart. The director might request that the musicians tune to each other, it might take a while, but if this step is not accomplished, the whole piece might fall into disaster.
Harmony requires differences. Harmony requires careful listening. Harmony requires working together.
I hear the phrase, “why can’t we just get along!” But, I think too often this request is that everyone agree with me. I argue (ha) that for us to live harmoniously is that we can recognize and even honor another thought or stance. There might be some conflict, or as in music some “dissonance” where two or more notes are conflicting with each other… but when the notes come to “resolution,” harmony is restored. It is beautiful when it is accomplished!
It is wonderful when God’s people live in harmony. There is so much that we agree upon and that we all want for our families, communities, country, and world. Can we celebrate those things where we agree? Can we work for a harmonious outcome with those we differ? We will have to practice to make our harmonies work. It might take some time to get to a starting note, but once we do – it will be like music to God’s ears!