By Erin Bird,

Hope your week has been going quite well. I am really excited for this weekend as I get to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Think about it – 50 years! My parents have somehow figured out this week’s topic, which is…

Live in Harmony
We are continuing with our “One Another” series, looking at five “one another” passages from the book of Romans. (If you’ve missed past “notes”, you can catch those on the Riverwood blog . And this week, we come to Romans 12:16 – “Live in harmony with one another.”

I remember in fourth grade traveling to Omaha, Nebraska with my classmates for a field trip to hear the Omaha Symphony. I remember being in awe of the sound washing over my ears and heart. (I actually began listening to classical music on my little clock radio for the next few weeks!)

Now, if I had heard a single violin playing a beautiful melody, I think I would have enjoyed it. But what made me so overwhelmed by the beauty of the music was that it wasn’t just one instrument playing, but an entire orchestra playing. And they didn’t all play the exact same thing. There were harmonies and counter melodies that all contributed together to create an amazing sound that made my ten-year-old ears respond with astonishment.

Harmony is a powerful thing in music. But it is also powerful in relationships.

My parents have obviously found a harmony that has allowed them to experience 50 years of marriage. But imagine what a church would be like where people don’t just display Iowa-nice to one another, but actually live in true gospel-fueled harmony.

Paul’s Call for Harmony
This gospel-fueled harmony is what Paul is calling for in Romans 12:16. He says:

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.”

Just like each member of an orchestra must play his or her part well to contribute to the harmonious whole, when each person in the church contributes his or her part well, not making it about himself or herself (not being haughty), but allows the spotlight to even be put on the lowly, harmony causes a beautiful church to be built.

You can’t experience harmony if you make it all about you. But as you shift the attention to others, you experience a harmony that will raise up awe in your heart toward God – and it will leave others in awe!

So I invite you to contribute your gifts and talents and time to the Riverwood family and our broader communities, seeking to live in harmony with them because of what Jesus has done for us.