TOGETHER WITH ONE VOICE
“…For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through the patience and through the consolation of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded among one another (τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν ἐν ἀλλήλοις), in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Receive one another, therefore, as Christ has received you, for the glory of God.” (Rom 15: 4-7)
What is it that allows us to come “together with one voice,” as described here by St. Paul? Is it through common political views, or a common ethnic background, or social standing, that we achieve “like-mindedness, in accord with Christ Jesus”? No. It is “through the patience and through the consolation (διὰ τῆς ὑπομονῆς καὶ διὰ τῆς παρακλήσεως) of the Scriptures” that we are given the “one voice” that the Apostle talks about here.
Today there are many other “scriptures” or writings, – and stories, and issues, – to which I am exposed on a daily basis, and which compete inside of me for my allegiance. But this Sunday, as I come together with others, “that together we may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” let me embrace the “patience and consolation of the Scriptures” that give us hope, rather than the outside issues that divide us. Let me “receive” others as I have been received, by “the God of patience and consolation,” in accord with Christ Jesus. “Receive one another, therefore, as Christ has received you, for the glory of God.” Amen!