Love Your Neighbor
What is harmony?
A chord is harmony - two or more notes played at the same time; the wavelengths of the notes are different, but when those notes are played together, they amplify each other and the interactions of the wavelengths cause the air between and around to vibrate in such a way as more notes can be heard.
What is discord?
this may sound familiar - discord is two or more notes played at the same time; the wavelengths of the notes are different, but when those notes are played together, they amplify each other and the interactions of the wavelengths cause the air between and around to vibrate in such a way as more notes can be heard.
Discord is made of differences, fairly obviously not every note in the discord vibrates at the same wavelength - they clash. That's why it is called discord: they are not in accord. But harmony, too, is made of differences, and it is those very differences that work together to create beauty. Accord does not mean the same, sameness and homogeny are stagnant; there cannot be growth or challenge when everything, every one, every thought is the same. We need those differences, we need the discord to resolve harmoniously; just look at the physics of music. When notes are out of tune and the wavelengths are the wrong frequency, there will be discord, clashing. It is almost never the fault of one note of the instrument, but the entire system needs adjusting, gently checking back to the notes to see if the adjustment is working or if it is causing more harm.
Last week, in the wake of the daily revelations of more suspicious packages found mailed to prominent individuals, culminating in the deadly shootings at Krugers and at Tree of Life Synagogue, while messages of fear and hatred generated towards strangers bombarded our collective ears, the easy conclusion is we are in the middle of a highly discordant note. It sometimes seems that every adjustment to tune this instrument cause another note to twang out of tune. So, let us focus for a moment. When teaching a child to play piano, one of the first notes learned is "middle C". This is also one of the first notes checked and tuned by a piano tuner. What is middle C for the Christian? How about the greatest Commandments: "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength" and "you shall love your neighbor as yourself". If everyone on earth defined neighbor to mean each other person in the world, regardless of particulars, what a beautiful note that could make.