Herald Journal Columns
Jan. 17, 2005, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

The touch of the Master’s hand

By Pastor Steve Josephson, Mount Hermon Lutheran Church, Annandale

When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River around 30 C. E., Matthew’s Gospel informs us that a voice came from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3: 17)

Jesus was beginning His public ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing, and as Paul would later say of Him, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.”

How awesome it is to trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ, who lived on this earth, died on the Cross, and whom we, as Christians, believe will come back again as He promised.

Jesus was touched by God, the heavenly Father’s love, long ago in the River Jordan, and now He invites each of us to allow His divine grace, mercy, and love to touch our hearts and lives so we may be empowered to share His love in a needy world.

Today, and all week, experience anew “the touch of the Master’s hand.”

As the poem aptly goes, “Twas battered, scarred, and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while, To waste his time on the old violin, but held it up with a smile, ‘What am I bid, good people,’ he cried, ‘Who’ll start the bidding for me? A dollar, a dollar, now two, only two; Two dollars, and who’ll make it three’... but no! From the room far back, a gray-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 an angel sings. The music ceased and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low, said, ‘What am I bid for the old violin?’ and he held it up with the bow. ‘A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two... two thousand, and who’ll make it three? Three thousand once, three thousand twice, and going and gone,’ said he. The people cheered, but some of them said, ‘We don’t quite understand - what changed its worth?’ Swiftly came the reply, ‘The touch of the Master’s hand.’

And many a one with life out of tune, and tattered and torn with sin, is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd; much like the old violin. He is going once, and going twice, he is going and almost gone, but the Master comes, and the awestruck crowd never quite understand the worth of a soul - and the change that’s wrought. . . by the touch of the Master’s Hand. “

May God bless you throughout the year.

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