Mark writes in the first chapter of his Gospel: “After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near (the RSV translates it, “is at hand,” which I like better); repent, and believe in the good news.”
What is the “good news” found in Jesus’ coming? Frederick Buechner wrote, “‘Repent and believe in the gospel,’ Jesus says. Turn around and believe that the good news that we are loved in a way that is better than we ever dared hope ... and to live out of it and turn toward it. This is the gladdest thing of all.”
Jesus has come. Jesus has redeemed. Jesus gifts us with a new way to walk in life and to understand that in Christ we are new creations – holy and blessed. ... I bet you don’t hear this said a lot about you: “holy” “blessed.” But you are. And it is so, all by the master’s hand touching us.
There is a wonderful old poem that goes: “T'was battered, scarred, and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth the 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'll start the bidding for me? One dollar? One dollar...now do I hear two? Two dollars...now who will make it three?
‘Three dollars once...three dollars twice, going for three...’ But no!
From the room far back, a grey-bearded man came forward and picked up the bow. Then wiping the dust form the old violin and tightening up the strings, he played a melody, pure and sweet, as sweet as the angel’s sing.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer with a voice that was quiet and low, said, ‘What now am I bid for the old violin?’ as he held it aloft with its bow. ‘One thousand?’ said he. ‘Two thousand?’ And now two thousand and who will make it three? Three thousand once, three thousand twice...and going and gone,’ he said.
The people cheered, but some of them cried, ‘We don't quite understand...What changed its worth?’
Swift came the replay, ‘It t'was the touch of the master's hand.’
And many a man with life out of tune, all battered and torn with sin, is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd much like the 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 crowed never can quite understand -- the worth of a soul, the change that was wrought, by the touch of the Master's hand.
Know this: our true value isn’t found by what we accomplish according to the world standards, nor is our success dependent upon what society says is success. Our true value is found in letting the master touch our lives and then living out our lives with that good news in our hearts, souls, and actions.
The Master’s hand; that’s what makes all the difference in the world.
~ God bless, Dan