Prepare to listen as you light the 2 purple candles. Pray: ‘To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!’
Prayerfully Read Romans 15:4-6
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Twice in this paragraph Paul underscores the importance of unity among God’s people--live in harmony; together with one voice. This echoes Psalm 122 as well as Jesus’ request in his high priestly prayer that believers in Christ ‘may all be one’ (Jn 17:21). The oneness the psalmist desired, Jesus prayed for and Paul expected of the church at Rome isn’t a oneness of agreement in all matters. Of course we’ll disagree, including over what Jesus most wants from those of us who claim to follow him. Oneness has to do with remaining in true fellowship, loving one another even when we disagree; participating together to reflect God to the world, despite our many differences.
We can ask ourselves: Can I live in harmony with the person who votes for a political candidate I think is opposed to the way of Jesus? Can I live in harmony with the people in my church when some promote causes I disapprove of? Can I live in harmony and sing with one voice with God’s varied and sometimes crazy people for the glory of God? And that’s the point, says Paul. Church isn’t about me and mine. We do church for the glory of God, to point the world to a God who is greater than our petty differences of opinions even in essential matters. We live in harmony and glorify God with one voice when we reflect the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to the world.
What does ‘living in harmony’ with your faith community mean for you today?
Respond to Jesus
May I live today, Lord, in a way that accepts the differences in my faith community so that we can, with one voice, glorify you. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world seeking ways to glorify God with one voice.