Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pray before you play

Today’s Reading: Acts 13:26 NIV

26 [Paul said,] “Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.’”

Good morning!

Every Tuesday afternoon, my mother would pick me up from school and drop me off in front of Mrs. Roundtree’s home for a piano lesson. She lived just a few blocks from us; because of the traffic surrounding our subdivisions, Mom thought it might be too dangerous for me to walk alone. Mrs. Roundtree’s husband was a Nazarene Pastor; they lived in a modest, ranch home in a quiet neighborhood. In the fall, as we drove along the colorful tree-lined lane, I loved wading through the crunch of newly fallen leaves leading up to Mrs. Roundtree’s front door.

She was the only piano teacher I ever had who insisted on praying before every lesson. Her prayers were powerful! She would call upon the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, asking them for a meaningful lesson, drawing out the gifts they had planted in my heart, and the music we played would be a pleasing to the Lord. She always prayed in the name of Jesus, and I absolutely knew her piano bench was holy ground. If my feet could have touched the floor as I sat there on the bench, covered in His mercy and grace, I would have removed my socks and shoes.

I found it odd that her husband was generally home in the afternoons. My father never got home before 5:30pm. Rev. Roundtree was always there, waiting for his children to walk through the door from school. Just around the corner from where I sat, their family would gather together in the den and quietly discuss the events of their day together. It was somewhat distracting to me, not that they were loud, but because there were times when I longed to be in that room with them. He would gently ask each of his children about their day. As they replied, he would whisper “Praise God” to the good things, and “Let’s pray about it” when hurtful words of a sharp-edged teacher or the actions of a class bully made one of his children frustrated. Rev. Roundtree would then begin reading the Holy Scripture and discussing it openly with his children. Whenever he would begin reading Scripture, my ears would burn with excitement. I tried very hard to concentrate on my own piano lesson. Sometimes I would ask Mrs. Roundtree to demonstrate a particular part of the lesson, so I could really listen to God’s Word being spoken through words and music, all at the same time. Their family made a huge spiritual impact on my life. I will never forget their hospitality and loving kindness.

Every ear must have been burning that day, as Paul proclaimed the message of salvation is given not just to the children of Abraham, but to God-fearing Gentiles. It was as if a holy door had swung opened, bridging the gap between nations, customs, and culture. The Lord Jesus Christ had come for all people – not just those gathered in the inner circle or the outer chamber. He came for the folks standing in the streets, listening carefully to the words echoing throughout the city. Jesus came, not just for preacher’s kids, but for not so great piano students sitting in the other room. Jesus came to heal the sick, find the lost, and love the unlovable ones. This is really good news for someone just like me.

Are you ears burning? Do you long for the Savior to lead you in your life’s song? I invite you to follow the advice of Mrs. Roundtree: pray before you play. Invite Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life right now. Make a daily commitment to dig deeper into His Word during this season of Lent, beginning this morning. If you will pray before you play, you will hear His voice, speaking to you all day long.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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