This devotional is based on Acts 15 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
"For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.” Acts 15: 28, 29 (ESV)
The above resolution came in response to a brewing crisis of variance on the issue of whether or not new "Gentile" converts to the Church needed to be circumcised, "But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, 'It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses,'" (verse 5).
While getting a group to sing unison can be powerfully used in the presentation of a piece, the ability to harmonize only comes to the fore when at least two of each sub-group (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) sing something different. The challenge however, is to remain on key. Variance on some issues in church is no reason for disharmony or for being off-key; no reason for discord.
Too often do we strive to achieve unison on every issue - as if to suggest that one of the group has to be of the devil. It may very well be that a group is of the Devil, not necessarily based on the point of variance, but simply in the manner in which the difference is handled. When are flowers most likely to create a buzz of excited chatter and amazement? When they bloom. And don't they typically bloom with variant colours from the main plant? Variance isn't a reason in and of itself to quarrel.
Lord, please grant us the wisdom to know what is imperative and what is not; where we may be variant, and where we must speak with one voice. Help us to synchronize with our one voice and to harmonize where we differ, in Jesus' name, amen.
To read and/or listen to Acts 15 and read other related blogs, please click here.