What Child Is This?

by DanWolgemuth on December 14, 2018

The words and the tune floated through the air at the Christmas program that Malia, our eleven-year-old granddaughter participated in. Malia’s fingers moved confidently across the white and black piano keys, and her voice pounced securely on every word and note.

Malia’s practice, preparation and courage had positioned her on the bench that faced the massive Kawai grand piano.  A piano that is roughly 9 feet in length and nearly 1,000 pounds. A piano that responded to every instruction from an eleven-year-old soloist.

At the conclusion of the Christmas program, hugs and congratulations were extended to Malia, as they should have been. She had done her best, both in preparation and performance.

In the days that followed, I thought often about that experience. The joy of a grandfather listening to his oldest granddaughter play and sing… as well as the more reflective pondering of my soul.

While Malia’s effort was noteworthy and wonderful, the full capacity of the Kawai was not tested or exposed. In no way was I tempted to assess the quality or capability of the grand piano by what I had just witnessed. This didn’t diminish my delight, it simply invited a realistic perspective, and perhaps an authentic confession.

“What child is this?”

The child is Jesus. The beloved and only begotten son of God. Holy, righteous, compassionate and just. Wonderful Counselor. Mighty God. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace.

He is my Savior and my King. It is His example and pattern and instruction that I seek to set the course of my life upon…

Yet, at my very best, I am just a child sitting in front of a massive grand piano… doing all that I can to play a melody that in some small way highlights the beauty and grandeur of the instrument in front of me.

For those of you who listen to my tune… do not judge the ultimate capacity or quality of the instrument by what I can play. I am touching and testing only the tiniest fraction of what is possible.

We’ve all heard it said… “I do not believe in Christ, because of how I see Christians live.” Yet, this would be like saying, I do not believe in the quality of a Kawai grand piano because of what I heard at a grade school Christmas program.

Please do not misunderstand. Words of dismissive condemnation are not spoken from God… He invites us to press in, to play more, to practice intently, to perform humbly… because He knows that not only my effort, but the effort of the godliest saint only scratches the surface of what is fully possible. And yet, even from the fingers of an eleven-year-old, there is melody and beauty and music. And the heart of a father is stirred, the heart of our Father finds delight.

Massive. Beautiful. Powerful… yet approachable and inviting. Fingers on the keys. Notes played.

Follow me, Jesus said. Sit and play.

From a concertmaster to an elementary school student. Only a fraction of what is possible.

What child is this?

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