Living in Harmony with Each Other

This year our congregation has chosen as its theme “Eager to Maintain the Unity of the Spirit.” Ephesians (from which the wording of the theme is drawn) is all about God’s plan to unite all things in Christ. But there are other books of the Bible that focus on unity as well, especially the book of Philippians.

I was taught that the key term in Philippians is joy, and Philippians indeed says a lot about rejoicing in the Lord. But Philippians is also about unity – in fact, unity is one of the sources of joy. “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:2).

“Full accord” – “living in harmony” as God’s Word translation puts it – is very difficult. It is much easier to sing a solo than it is to blend into an ensemble. But of course, when voices mingle together to create beautiful harmony, the end result is much more satisfying than an isolated voice. So how do we live in harmony with each other? Continue reading

Learning How to Live with Each Other

Right now I am in the midst of rehearsals for a local production of 1776. If you have never seen the show, it is a musical about the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Ever since I saw the movie as an eight year-old I have wanted to play the role of Benjamin Franklin, and now I have my chance! It is going to be a lot of fun.

One of the pivotal moments in the show occurs when the issue of slavery arises. The southern colonies object to Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration because it expresses criticism of slavery, and the southern delegates walk out en masse. Benjamin Franklin concludes that the clause will have to be deleted in order to regain their votes for independence. This compromise elicits an angry response from John Adams, and an equally impassioned reply by Franklin – Continue reading