Good Friday and Attention
You have to want to pay attention—or even the most astonishing things won’t take hold of our hearts and minds. Even more we need to train ourselves to pay attention, to notice when something is afoot. We can miss something magnificent if we are not taught to pay heed.
The story goes that a musician set up to play his violin at a subway station in Washington DC. He played for 45 minutes as people were on their way to their various places of work on a Friday morning in 2007. During that time he had his violin case open, as literally a thousand souls passed by him.
After his 45 minutes, 1,097 people walked by. 27 people gave him some money, 7 stopped to listen and only one recognized him.
The grand total: $52.17 US.
That is not even the price of a cheap seat in the concert hall in which this artist would ordinarily play. You see, it was Joshua Bell, one of the finest violinists of our generation. He was playing a masterpiece, using a Stradivarius violin valued at $3.5 million US, hand-made by the master violin maker himself.
And the crowd, oblivious to the magnificent, went about the mundane.
Today is Good Friday, the day when Jesus, the Son of God, hung dead that you and I might have a chance of heaven.
And though thousands had followed the Lord just a few days before, through three years of ministry, enormous mobs of people had flocked to touch the hem of his robe to know the healing power of God, Jesus, whose very life was more than a masterpiece, was crucified, almost alone.
Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if here is any pain liked My pain, which was severely dealt out to me, which the Lord inflicted on the day of His fierce anger… Lamentations 1:12 NASB
And on this Good Friday, the temptation is to pay no attention at all, to the Master whose life was a magnificent masterpiece, as we remember how He died for us. Today, he has asked us to pay attention to what He did, to stop and thank Him for His sacrifice, and reorient the way we live to reflect His service to others, whether they notice or not.
In a sense, Jesus the Master has made us His masterpiece. When He guides us, our lives are to be the music of the gospel for all to hear, in every part of our living. Every now and then, someone stops to listen—and that is why He died for them too.
© David Chotka 2021