"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another."
~ Romans 12: 15-16
Years ago the Coca Cola Company for an ad campaign taught us all the song, "I'd like to teach the world to sing... in perfect harmony..." It was highly successful, and even decades later, I can sing the campaign word for word.
We are called to rejoice together and mourn together, while living with one another in harmony.
This morning as I reflected upon these words I began to search my life for those who I would say that I am in perfect harmony with. With today's world environment, it probably has become more difficult to seek harmony, but the task is not daunting.
It's possible. While Paul writes to the Romans, he is living in a place where there is tremendous change. Foreign rulers are controlling the political environment. Multiple languages and customs are being brought together and religious communities are seeking a place to live and find peace, while the laws set forth are being challenged and changed. Wait, is this first century writing, or is he talking about today?
Paul's words are still in the process of being realized.
Even when Jesus last appeared to his disciples he simply asked that they learn to "love one another."
It's a big undertaking, but there is still time. It begins with each of us, relying upon one another, while affirming and respecting one another becomes a common ritual to our daily life.
While Lent is often a very sacred and personal journey, it also involves community and creating harmony. It is about recognize our similarities, not necessarily our differences. It is realizing while we struggle, our neighbor is also struggling.
Our journey continues, and today I pray that we recognize that the hand of our neighbor is not empty, it is waiting for us to reach out and take hold of things together... in harmony.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear God, while I look at the world that You have created, and how we, Your children have changed it since You proclaimed, "It is good," may we discover ways to create harmony and bring peace. Amen.
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.