Trouble In River City

Daily Post: Harmonize


Harold Hill was a con man posing as a boy’s band organizer.  He went to Iowa by train, stopping in River City to sell band instruments and uniforms to the unassuming citizens of River City.  Marian the Librarian falls in love with the fast talking con man and that’s where the trouble really started.  The Music Man was a Broadway hit in 1957, and adapted for a movie in 1962.  With tongue twisting lyrics and speeches, dancing and romancing, one of the best features of the film for me is still the Barbershop Quartet harmonizing throughout the movie.

For a very short time I was caught up in Barbershop Quartet harmonizing in High School.  I remember those rehearsal times fondly, and the assistant choir director who tried to help the four of us boys sing in tune.  It was quite comical at times, but fun nonetheless.  Harmony is beautiful when it happens, but the quarter-tones and half-tones resolving and harmonizing is just pure fun when a good Barbershop quartet sings.

Today, the popular version of Acapella groups is a far cry from those of my High School days.  One of my favorite groups today is Pentatonix.  Just a little over 5 years ago this group came onto the scene, and since has sold over 6 million albums, won 3 Grammies, have their own YouTube channel of 13 million subscribers, and 2 billion video views.  Using their voices to produce both the background tracks and the vocals, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado, Avi Kaplan, and Kevin “K.O.” Olusola have taken harmonize to a whole new level.

Often I wonder why life can’t be more harmonious.  Whether its Barbershop Quartet, or Pentatonix, the harmonies can be misleading because they make it look easy, like a well oiled machine.  Make no mistake, anyone who has ever sung in a group like these, understands it doesn’t happen without hours and hours of painstaking rehearsals and practice sessions.  People who sing are constantly practicing on their own, so that when the group comes together, it’s no long about learning parts, but making them all fit for the performance.

If we look closely at the world around us, we quickly realize just how messed up earth, and how out of harmony the people of earth really are.  Harmonizing politically is a joke.  Harmonizing economically is  a non-starter.  Harmonizing our past with our present is being destroyed even as you read this article, by the revisionist who can’t quite come to grips with their present.  And don’t even get me started on the Church.  Where is the cohesive, coordinated, compatible Spirit that is supposed to be the evidence of spiritual Oneness?

Not only does this world look dysfunctional, there doesn’t seem to be any hope for things to change positively any time soon.  We’re living in a dangerous time, and as Harold Hill would say, “We’ve got trouble in River City!”  What is the solution?  Where is the answer?

Isaiah 55:8-12
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.  For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.  For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Yes, you guessed it.  This whole thing harmonizes when God’s Word is complete, and not until then.  And don’t forget, when God says, “so will My word be,”  remember John described Jesus as The WORD.  The ways and thoughts of God are higher than our own.  Jesus Christ the Lord is the ultimate expression and completion of these thoughts and ways.  He is the Word, He is God.  Our only hope for harmony… is Jesus.

1 Timothy 4:10
For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.



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