Many years ago a woman in a small German town advertised a piano recital she was going to give on a certain day. Her posters falsely identified her as a student of the famous Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt. To her dismay, Liszt visited her little village at the very time of her performance. Knowing she would be found out as a liar and have her budding career ruined by the scandal, she went to the place where Liszt was staying and asked to speak with him.
Through tears of embarrassment and humiliation she made her confession to the great man. Liszt responded to her penitence and tears in an unanticipated manner. “You have certainly done a terribly wrong thing,” he said, “but we all make mistakes. The only thing to do now is to be sorry, and I think you are truly sorry. Now will you let me hear you play?”
As surprised as she was embarrassed at that point, the girl began to play the piano, making several errors at first. She played better as she gained more confidence. Liszt corrected her at certain points and made suggestions at others.
When she had finished, the famous musician said, “My dear, you are NOW a pupil of Franz Liszt. I have given you instruction this afternoon. Tomorrow you may go on with your concert as advertised. And the last number on the program will be played not by the pupil, but by the TEACHER.” *
It was a kindness that was certainly undeserved. The aspiring performer had misused the name of the masterful and prominent pianist. Yet Liszt was gracious enough to forgive, save a woman from humiliation, and help advance her career.
Due to our sins, WE have treated the Master (God) similarly. We have dishonored His name by disobeying His will. As a result, we deserve the humiliation and the punishment that comes from our rebellion.
Yet in His loving kindness, the Master – the heavenly Father – offers salvation from sin and eternal life in heaven. God gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6-7).
We can accept His gracious offer by: placing our faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turning from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).
We have ALL “done terribly wrong things.” “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But due to His incredible kindness and love, the heavenly Father offers AMAZING GRACE through His Son.
Won’t YOU accept His offer on His terms?
David A. Sargent, Minister
Church of Christ at Creekwood
* As quoted by Rich Bersett