Ebony and Ivory

On this day 40 years ago, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder recorded a song that became one of the biggest hits of the 80’s. That song was Ebony & Ivory – and, although it was a popular song, it’s words sound more like a prayer than song lyrics:

“Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don't we?”


God’s Word makes it clear that He wants us to live in harmony:

“Live in harmony with one another… If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:16,18)

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14)

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:5)

For the apostle Paul to write as often as he did about harmony, it must have been a big issue in his day – as it is in ours. He knew the importance of God’s people living in harmony. 

So… why don’t we live in harmony?

God’s Word gives us an answer to that question:

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

There are unseen powers at work in our world to make sure that we do NOT live in harmony. It’s only through the power of God’s Holy Spirit working in the lives of His people that we can fight and win this battle. There are far too many people today who are giving the forces of evil free rein in their lives – you can see it in their faces and in their words. These are the people who have hate-faces and hate-words.

The unseen powers encourage us to put the spotlight and the magnifying glass on our differences – rather than focusing on what we have in common. Recognizing that we are all made in the image of our Creator and precious in His sight, we must present to the world grace-faces instead of hate-faces and grace-laced words rather than hate-filled words. Only when we love like Jesus loves can we live in harmony with our fellow human beings. And when we master that, we can say, like the psalmist:

“How delightfully good when brothers [and sisters] live together in harmony!” (Psalm 133:1)

By Judy Shrout

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