Sometimes hope is hard to come by. The harder we search for it, the more elusive it is.
This seven part series leads us into and through Advent by inviting us to stillness. In that stillness, we may begin to hear hope’s song.
Hope for Harmony
Read: Romans 15:4-6
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant that you live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus. (Romans 15:5)
Nineteenth-century novelist George Eliot has one of her characters complain of Christians who make themselves as little like the Savior as possible. “If I want to see Jesus,” the character says, “I must avert my eyes for fear I should see a Christian” (Felix Holt, Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 246).
How it must grieve the Lord Jesus Christ when those of us who bear his name are such poor representatives of it. Surely, the lack of harmony among believers is one of the ways we hurt his reputation the most. Why, after all, would anyone want to sign on to a church characterized by cruelty and hypocrisy?
Maybe if we took our cue from Christ, we would be better representatives of him. In the verses just prior to this passage Paul speaks about how “Christ did not please himself” (v.3). How would our witness to the world be different if we worried less about pleasing ourselves and more about pleasing our neighbor (v. 2)?
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to live in harmony—for your name’s sake.