Harmony Church

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       January 8, 2016


I was leading a group of seniors in a study of 1 Peter yesterday. We were able to get through one verse in the ninety minutes together. The verse was 1 Peter 3:8. It says:

   “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit…”

Harmony! What is that? We made the point…several times…in our discussion that harmony does not mean uniformity. We are not cookie-cutter followers of Christ. We are all unique, complex and simple, confident and cautious, narrow-minded and totally open-minded. Diverse, that’s who we are. Thus, the challenge of harmony is understanding that the body of believers will not always be in agreement on such issues as brand of coffee to serve, dress style preferred, how quiet children should be in worship, and what songs get sung. The interesting thing is that it is those petty issues that so often cause the most conflict. Perhaps that says something about the spiritual depth of a congregation that such topics of division revolve around whether donuts or muffins should be served?

Harmony is a sign of a church that gets it. Disharmony makes the news. Harmony is newsworthy. Strong personalities are a constant challenge to harmony. It isn’t that people with strong personalities are evil, but must be reminded that harmony does not mean giving into their ideas, thoughts, and demands.

Harmony is often forfeited for the sake of progress. What progress is often gets written on a stats sheet, like the church is the religious version of the Oakland A’s in  Moneyball.  Progress is the chafing rub to harmony. It has a way of becoming exalted and worshiped at the expense of all else.

Peter’s point to those he was writing to then, and to us now, is that those who are not of the church…are not on that faith journey with Christ, look with suspicious interest at the church. Why would these people gather on a Sunday morning week after week? What do they get out of it? What does it mean? What draws them together? Is there emotional support for those who are hurting, and relational stability for those who are lonely?

A lot of questions! And the harmony of the body of believers communicates that this thing we call a journey with Christ is real, it is authentic, it isn’t some kind of put-on!

Since most of the lives of Christ-followers is spent separate from one another, doing our own things, going about our own business, lack of familiarity with one another limits the hold of harmony. Crossing paths for a few moments at a worship service makes us acquaintances, but detours around harmony.

Harmony in the church is like a surfer trying to stay upright on the board as the waves push him forward. Harmony is wonderful, and yet that next wave…that next crisis…had the potential to send things crashing down.

In a world that seems to love to fight, harmony seems like the uncle who often gets forgotten to be invited to the party. And yet, harmony is a sign of a church that gets it!


Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, Christianity, Community, Faith, Grace, Jesus, Pastor, Prayer, Story, Teamwork, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: