So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.Romans 14:19 (NLT)
Believe it or not, when I was younger (during my high school days) I was not just in the school choir, but the select choir. They must’ve been desperate for a bass, so I was included. It turns out, singing isn’t too hard if you don’t care about what others think of your musical prowess. Don’t get me wrong. I could sing harmony just find (I think I still can today). But, unless someone specifically played the notes on the piano for me to memorize the harmony, it was never going to happen. You see, in general, singing the harmony is one step above or below the note being sung for melody. Yes, I know it can be more complex than that, but let’s keep it simple. Harmonizing is what allows choirs, vocal groups, and even popular musical entertainers to create some fantastic music. When done well, the melody and harmonies blend together. Sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses all singing different notes, yet they all fit together perfectly. When people try to harmonize, but can’t find the right notes, the soundwaves clash, and chaos is what is heard. It’s not pleasant. I’ve been to many rehearsals where that was the case. It hurts the ears.
So, when the apostle Paul wrote our verse today, which says, “So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up,” he was speaking of the church as a choir. Though we may all sing different notes, though we may all come from different viewpoints, backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, we can still aim to compliment one another rather than clash. We can learn to harmonize.
So, what does harmonizing in church look/sound like in a practical sense? Literally complimenting someone for their service. Recognizing when someone is trying to help you, and others, grow in your faith journey. Rather than complaining about the praise & worship style, look to those who it is connecting with. Serve, rather than complain that certain things aren’t getting done. Praise rather than pout. In short, look for the opportunities to lift others up.
When we as the family of God can embrace our opportunity to harmonize, the church will make some amazing music together (literally and figuratively).