Harmony in the musical sense is the simultaneous playing or singing of notes chords that produces something that is pleasant and pleasing to the ear.

When musicians and singers aren’t playing together you can hear it straight away, the discordant voice or instrument rises above and can cause you to physically grimace. Playing in a band situation is often a case of ‘less is more’, but some from there insecurity, or sometimes pride, want to keep on playing as they feel the ‘must’ be heard. This is not harmony.

It is all very similar to what Paul is saying here and the musical comparison works very well to help understand the dynamics of relationships with one another.

Harmony begins with listening to one another. In a musical context you have to listen to be able to harmonise. If you don’t know what key the music is in you are going to immediately sound discordant. If you don’t listen to the dynamics of the song being played you will either miss the opportunity to step on the gas or look like a prima-donna with your guitar/drum/vocal solo. You have to listen to feel where the music is going, whether it is loud or soft, light or dark, there is an appropriate response. Sometimes that response might not be to do anything. We listen to what is being played and compliment it. We might play the same thing, but more likely it will be a variation that compliments what others are playing. You can see how it all relates to church.

Harmonies need to be practiced. Sometimes you can just wing a vocal harmony and it sounds great, but when they are intentional they sound so much better. Working out which parts people are going to play is important and the results can be astounding. When you just do as you see fit there can be a sense of dischord, and it makes people feel uneasy.

Harmonies can create tension but they will always be resolved. Similarly in church, there will be disagreements but they will always need to be resolved. Tension is necessary for movement but if you live in a permanent state of tension it would kill you. It is not wrong to disagree but it is wrong to stay in the place of disagreement.

When you harmonise you don’t get to play all of the time. But sometimes our insecurity will make us feel like we need to do something, we must be heard. We need to stand out from the crowd. But you can probably remember that drum solo that sent shivers down your spine (I’m not talking about good shivers either!)

The tension of unresolved relationships will produce a repelling sound, though we may not hear it physically, anyone with half an ear will perceive its effects, but when we harmonise with one another it will produce a sweet sound, a sound that is intriguing and without cliché, a sound that takes you somewhere and a sound that draws you in. But it takes work and effort on our behalf to allow God to position us, and for us to listen to one another so that we play to each others strengths and truly honour and live in harmony with one another.