Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Cadence February 2007

Dear Del Rosa Family,

Getting the New Year underway I was reminded of the need for redemption - the ability to put the old away and to be made new in Christ. Barbara Plunk shared with us at Monday Morning Prayer Breakfast a favorite poem from some years back that speaks to this very theme of redemption.

The Touch of the Master's Hand

It was battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
Hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three",

But, No,
From the room far back a grey haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet,
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."

And many a man with life out of tune,
All battered with bourbon and gin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
by Myra Brooks Welch

In 1921, Myra Brooks Welch heard a speaker address a group of students. She said she became filled with light, and "Touch of the Master's Hand wrote itself in 30 minutes!" She sent it anonymously to her church news bulletin. She felt it was a gift from God, and didn't need her name on it.

The particular piece of this story I want to lift out is that once again the poem was not so much about the who or the where, but the what. The what in this case was the sharing of her gifts with the congregation for the glory of God. Redemption comes at a price, the price is having been made new creatures, we have new responsibilities, those gifts from God that have a place in ministry to and for the people of God, who have heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, and those who have yet to be redeemed.

I have also been recently convicted about the role of ministry for the congregation and for the pastor and wanted to share with you once again the quote from John Westerhoff.

“If you are a pastor who is spending more than fifteen hours a week working in projects outside the congregation, you are probably wasting your time. We need you in the congregation equipping the saints for their demanding ministry in the world.”
On the other hand Westerhoff said to the laity, “If you are a layperson who is spending more than fifteen hours a week working in projects within the church, you are probably wasting your time. Your ministry consists not of running errands for the pastor but in sharing in Christ’s ministry in the world.”

You all have great gifts to share and the Lay Leadership Committee will be sending out “Call to Ministry” questionnaires in the near future asking you for the ways in which you have heard your call to be in ministry with and for the Del Rosa community.


Pastor David


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