Aloha Friday Message – October 22, 2010 – For YOUR Aloha Friday …

1043AFC102210 Happy Aloha Friday Beloved! Here is the Scripture for the day.

1 Peter 2:4-5
NIV 4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
KJV 4 Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, 5 and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

(The Old Testament references are Isaiah 28:16, 1 Peter 2:8, and Romans 11:11)

The Stone which the builders rejected has become the Corner Stone, the Foundation on which all else is built, by building on that foundation, we too become living stones that form a Holy structure wherein God is loved, worshipped, adored, praised, and glorified. (Ps 118:22, Matt 21:42, Mark 12:10, and especially Luke 20:17)

It is a beautiful thought to contemplate being built into the Everlasting City the Spiritual edifice of the Christian community, as Living Stones. Just for fun, Google “Living Stones” and read some of the insights. Here is a story which expresses another beautiful thought.

What a beautiful thought!
On November 18, 1995, Itzhak Perlman, the violinist, came on stage to give a concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. If you have ever been to a Perlman concert, you know that getting on stage is no small achievement for him. He was stricken with polio as a child, and so he has braces on both legs and walks with the aid of two crutches. To see him walk across the stage one step at a time, painfully and slowly, is an awesome sight. He walks painfully, yet majestically, until he reaches his chair. Then he sits down, slowly, puts his crutches on the floor, undoes the clasps on his legs, tucks one foot back and extends the other foot forward. Then he bends down and picks up the violin, puts it under his chin, nods to the conductor and proceeds to play.

By now, the audience is used to this ritual. They sit quietly while he makes his way across the stage to his chair. They remain reverently silent while he undoes the clasps on his legs. They wait until he is ready to play.

But this time, something went wrong. Just as he finished the first few bars, one of the strings on his violin broke. You could hear it snap – it went off like gunfire across the room. There was no mistaking what that sound meant. There was no mistaking what he had to do. We figured that he would have to get up, put on the clasps again, pick up the crutches, and limp his way off stage – to either find another violin or else find another string for this one. But he didn’t. Instead, he waited a moment, closed his eyes, and then signaled the conductor to begin again.

The orchestra began, and he played from where he had left off. And he played with such passion and such power and such purity as they had never heard before. Of course, anyone knows that it is impossible to play a symphonic work with just three strings. I know that, and you know that, but that night Itzhak Perlman refused to know that. You could see him modulating, changing, and re-composing the piece in his head. At one point, it sounded like he was de-tuning the strings to get new sounds from them that they had never made before.

When he finished, there was an awesome silence in the room. And then people rose and cheered. There was an extraordinary outburst of applause from every corner of the auditorium. We were all on our feet, screaming and cheering, doing everything we could to show how much we appreciated what he had done.

He smiled, wiped the sweat from this brow, raised his bow to quiet us, and then he said – not boastfully, but in a quiet, pensive, reverent tone – “You know – sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.”

What a powerful line that is. It has stayed in my mind ever since I heard it. And who knows – perhaps that is the definition of life – not just for artists but also, for all of us. Here is a man who has prepared all his life to make music on a violin of four strings, who – all of a sudden – in the middle of a concert, finds himself with only three strings; so he makes music with three strings, and the music he made that night with just three strings was more beautiful, more sacred, more memorable, than any that he had ever made before, when he had four strings. So, perhaps our task in this shaky, fast-changing, bewildering world in which we live is to make music, at first with all that we have, and then, when that is no longer possible, to make music with what we have left.

~~The World-Famous Author, Anonymous

It is not what you are nor what you have been that God sees with all-merciful eyes, but what you desire to be when you are freed for what you do not need. Please visit Genesis 9:1-13 (God’s covenant with Noah), Psalm 102 (the afflicted man sees impermanence and ruin, but God is eternal and merciful), and Mark 8:27-33 (Peter rebukes Jesus for saying He is going to die, and Jesus rebukes Peter for doubting what He had said).

James 4:8-10. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

If you do that, you will be amazed at how much music comes from what you have left after you have emptied out your pride, your sin, and your duplicity.

If you think that doesn’t work, try it again. Get closer still. Please. He will come near to you through the power of His Grace.

“Before you can clean the fish, you first have to catch it.”

Please pray for our leaders locally and nationally, for our soldiers at home and abroad, for the sick and the hungry. Pray for wisdom for our leaders and for ourselves as we prepare to elect more leaders soon. Pray especially for those who make excuses for not noticing that God has called them to Himself.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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