a song of many parts

Live in harmony with one another.
Romans 12:16

WHY IS IT SO WONDERFUL when voices sing together in harmony?  We hear a melody – it’s a lonely, one voice phrase. When we hear harmony something happens. There’s a depth and a pattern to the music that wasn’t there before. There’s a richness to the song. And you can have very complex harmonies made up of many parts. We might have a voice more suitable to a certain part, but effort is nevertheless required to train ourselves to sing our part – in order to make up the whole.

So what does it mean to live in harmony with one another? The words in this verse literally mean ‘think the same’ but does this mean that we are all carbon copies of one another? That we all sing the same notes?  We know that it doesn’t because we’ve also been told that we are many parts of one body.

What it means is that there is a unity of purpose, a sense of working together, of having peace between us with a common goal. We do not all have the same gifts, inclinations and natural pitch.

But sometimes, we don’t recognise this. Sometimes when we’ve got one part to sing we might think that someone else’s part is silly, or unimportant. We might think that our part is the one thing that we really need for the song to work. We might think that singing in harmony is mainly about my contribution or the contributions that we understand – ones that we can sing and sing well.

But in the body of Christ there are many parts. There are many parts.  And we all have our own gifts, our own pitch. So our voices, if you like, are all designed to fit around a certain area of the tune. It’s not something that comes naturally to most of us – it does to some, they can just pick up what they are doing so easily – but for most of us, it’s hard work. Often we struggle to sing our part well because we are still learning. We never stop learning. It’s not a finished work. We are always learning to live together, to sing a song of many parts.

2 thoughts on “a song of many parts

  1. Vicky says:

    I think we have strayed from the sense of community of the New Testament Christians. Lawrence Goudge has written a new book that reveals a change in direction in the church just decades after Jesus died. In the book, Cover-Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus’s True Heirs, Goudge proposes that the Jewish followers of Jesus preserved the beliefs and practices of the original apostles: Peter, James and John. Therefore, the true heretics were those who created the new religion of the dying God (anathema to Peter James and John). Cover-Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus’s True Heirs exposes the church’s hypocrisy in first silencing those who truly followed Jesus and then exterminating them, just as they did the Cathars.  I just learned of a new book – Cover Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus’s True Heirs by Lawrence Goudge. I found it here http://tinyurl.com/69cazll. Let me know what you think of it.


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