By Pastor Ron Buxton
On January 12th 2007, Joshua Bell stood inside the lobby of a Washington D.C. Metro station. A little nervous, he opened up his violin case, and hoped to make some money playing for the crowds that passed through there. Nothing about his appearance stood out. Just a young, white man wearing blue jeans, a long-sleeved t-shirt, and a Washington Nationals baseball cap.
Carefully, he dropped a few dollars as “seed money” into the violin case which was on the floor in front of him, and for the next forty-five minutes, Joshua played his heart out. He played music from all the classic composers that he knew. And yet, the results were very depressing.
One observer counted more than 1,100 people who walked right past him. In fact, most did not notice him standing there, much less, that he was passionately playing the violin. Indeed, it was a very sad day at that Metro station.
Amazingly, had these passers-by noticed, they would have recognized that the young man was a world-renowned violinist! They might have also noticed that he was playing a 3.5 million dollar Stradavarius violin! You see, what occurred that day was a “social experiment” from the Washington Post newspaper. And their experiment proved just how coldly indifferent society can be to the wonder and beauty around them.
Just three days prior to this experiment, Joshua Bell sold out a concert at Boston Symphony Hall–with tickets going for $100 per seat. Disappointingly, that day, Bell collected about $32 from the 27 people who only stopped long enough to throw money into his violin case!
This whole event was recorded on YouTube, and what I want to address today is societal indifference. You see, for the last two thousand years, folks have walked right past the Person of Jesus Christ. This apathy was–and still is–definitely more disappointing than what that social experiment revealed! A thousand times more so!
The Apostle John wrote about what happened as people indifferently walked right past Jesus Christ in the first century. Tragically, his statement is just as applicable to our society today. John 1:10-11 records, “He Jesus was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”
Have you noticed how disconnected society has become, even though we are technologically the most connected generation to ever walk the planet? Could it be that we simply do not notice the wonder and beauty around us, because we have never noticed the very One who gave us wonder and beauty?
Maybe you’ve been traveling through life just like those folks walking through that D.C. Metro station. You’ve got deadlines to meet, and places to get to. But, don’t you hear the “music” performed by your Creator? Please listen. Don’t walk by the Master anymore. Listen to His redemptive message of the Gospel. It will be music to your soul!