THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER’S HAND
Over the years I have used the following poem in various sermons. Most recently I intended to use it in a sermon on “What Christ Means to Me: My Savior,” but time constraints prevented me from doing so. The poem was written in 1921 by Myra Brooks Welch and the story is that she wrote it within thirty minutes. As we come to the close of another year and look forward to a new one, perhaps it would be fitting for each of us to reflect on the message contained in this poem.
‘Twas battered and scarred and the auctioneer
Though it scarcely worth his while,
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.
What am I bid, good friends? he cried;
Who’ll start the bidding for me?
Two dollars? Who’ll make 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 the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As a caroling angel sings.
The music stopped and the auctioneer,
In a voice quiet and low,
Said What am I bid for the old violin?
and held it up with the bow.
A thousand dollars! Who’ll make it two?
Two thousand? Who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone! said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
We do not understand . . .
What changed its worth?
Quick came the reply: The touch of the Master’s hand
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred by sin,
Is auctioned cheap by the thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on . . .
He’s going once, he’s going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes and the foolish crowd
Ne’er can quite understand,
The worth of the soul and the change that is wrought,
By the touch of the Master’s hand.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old thing have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).
December 29, 2015