Pastor’s Ponderings: If You Can’t Sing… Whittle! (9/13/22)

Posted by on Sep 13, 2022 in Pastors Ponderings | 0 comments

Pastor Jim submitted the following thoughts on 9/13/22…



PLEASE READ: Romans 12:1-6a…

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is  —his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” 


In 17th century Italy, in the town of Cremona, lived a young boy named Antonio. Antonio was often sad because he lived in a town that was famous for its music, but he could neither sing nor play any musical instruments. Antonio’s voice was high and squeaky, so he was not welcome in the Cremona Boys’ Choir. When he took violin lessons, the neighbors persuaded his parents to make him stop. Yet, Antonio still wanted to make music. Antonio’s friends teased him because it seemed that his only talent was whittling, but he did not give up.

One day the boy learned that a world-famous violin maker named Amati lived in Cremona. The next morning Antonio went to visit Amati and begged to serve as his apprentice. For many years he studied and worked. Antonio’s talent for whittling grew into a skill of carving; his hobby soon became his craft. Patiently he fashioned many violins, striving to make each one better and more beautiful than the one before.  When Antonio died, he left over 1,500 violins, each one bearing a label that said “Antonio Stradivarius.”

Today they are the most sought after violins in all the world. The clarity of tone and careful craftsmanship remain untouched as the centuries move forward. Antonio Stradivarius could neither sing nor play, but he did what he could, and now, over 300 years later, his violins are still making beautiful music.

This story highlights that even though Stradivarius couldn’t play music or sing in tune, this didn’t stop him from making music. Instead of bemoaning that he couldn’t do this or that or giving up in frustration, he used what skills, call them gifts, he did have to enable others to make beautiful music through the instruments he made. And that is precisely what Paul is saying in Romans 12:6. Look at the way the Contemporary English Bible translates this verse, “God has also given each of us different gifts to use.

Are each of us using our gifts, talents and resources to the best of our ability?  Are we making a sweet sound for God in all that we do?  As each of us in our various places of worship and service use our gifts, talents, and resources together in harmony, we can make beautiful music together for God making the world a better place.


Pastor Jim


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