This object lesson teaches that God uses what the world hardly values. The touch of the Master’s hand makes all the difference in a person’s life. This lesson is inspired by the poem by Myra B. Welch (printed at the end of the lesson).
· A violin if you can borrow one. If not, then use a photograph, or just describe the old violin well.
· Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
· “Let me tell you a story.”
· “An auctioneer waited for the next piece of merchandise to be wheeled out.”
· “To his disappointment, he saw that it was the old violin.”
· “He had spent time inspecting it before the auction began.”
· “It was weathered and worn, dusty and scuffed, with a split in the neck and some mold on the chin rest.”
· “He was sure it next to worthless, so he started the bidding low.”
· “’Who will give me a dollar?’”
· “’One dollar – Now who will give me two?’”
· “’Two dollars – Now who will give me three?’”
· “’Three dollars – Now who will give me four?’”
· “’Anyone? Anyone? Then, three dollars it is. Going once….Going twice….’”
· “From the back of the room, a chair screeched as a gray-haired man scooted it back to take a stand.”
· “All eyes were on him as he walked to the front of the room and picked up the old violin.”
· “He wiped off the dust and then took a moment to tune the strings.”
· “Picking up the bow, he began to play.”
· “The old violin came to life! Such was the beauty of the music the man played that it brought tears to they eyes of many sitting in their chairs.”
· “When he was done, he quietly laid the violin down on the table and walked out of the auction hall.”
· “A moment went by in complete silence. Then the auctioneer said, ‘Who will bid on the old violin? Do I hear $1,000 dollars?’” (Look expectantly at the group of kids until one of them raises a hand. Make the group part of the auction.)
· “’One thousand! But who will make it two?’” (Find another child with a hand raised and point to him/her. Keep this up for several raisings of the bid to let several kids play a part. It’s not important how high they take the bidding. Have fun with it.)
· “’Two thousand! Yes, and three? Three thousand to that gentleman there! Yes, who will make it four? Four thousand to the lovely young lady!….” (When you are ready to move on, say…)
· “’______ thousand! Going once! Going twice, and gone to the young person in that row!’”
· “A cheer went up, but some wept at what they had just seen.”
· “’What made the difference?’ one of them asked, and the auctioneer replied, ‘It was the thing that always makes the difference, my friends. It was the touch of the master’s hand.’”
· “Then gathering his things, he turned and left, wiping a tear from his eye.”
· “Many people are like that old violin, and the world will tell you and them that they aren’t worth anything.”
· “They will point out everything that’s wrong with the person but nothing that is right, and they will say that the person will never amount to much, never achieve anything worthwhile, never make a difference on this planet.”
· “But I want you to know that God doesn’t make junk and that every person on this earth is made in His image.”
· “Some are old and dusty, some are broken in some way, some are out of tune with the rest of the world.”
· “Some wear their scuffs on the outside where you can see them, and some wear their scuffs in their hearts where you can’t.”
· “But no matter what’s wrong with them, they can still do incredible things in the Master’s hand. That’s our Master, Jesus.”
· “If they will just trust Him with their beat up and broken lives, He will help them make beautiful music.”
· “That music will be a blessing to others, and they will all wonder how such beauty can come from something they thought was so worthless.”
· “You know, this lesson is based upon a poem written by a woman named Myra B. Welch.” (Read poem if you like.)
· “She lived a long time ago (1877-1959) and had such bad arthritis that she had to stay in a wheelchair. She loved to play the organ, but the arthritis made it impossible.”
· “To many, Myra Welch must have been like the old violin – broken and of little worth. But to God, she was priceless!”
· “Though she couldn’t play her organ, she learned that she could write poetry by holding a pencil in each of her deformed hands and typing the words by pushing the keys with the erasers.”
· “Her poems all told of how she rejoiced in God’s love, and they have blessed millions of people around the world.”
· “The world saw her as broken, but the touch of her Master’s hand brought beautiful music from her that blessed many.”
· “And our Master, the Lord Jesus, can do the same for you, too!”
The Touch of the Master’s Hand
“Twas battered and scared, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar – now who’ll make it two _
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for 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 bidden 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 cried,
“We do not quite understand –
What changed its worth?” The man replied:
“The touch of the master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and torn with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd.
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on,
He’s going once, and going twice –
He’s going – and almost gone!
But the MASTER comes, and the foolish crowd,
Never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul, and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the MASTER’S hand.
~Myra B. Welch