"Give Me A Phone Number!" (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

In high school, I played violin in our orchestra. Twice a year, we combined the band, choir and orchestra for a Christmas concert and an Easter concert. I looked forward to these concerts because the conductor of the combined performance group was also the choir director. Although I only worked with him a total of 6 times, I have very pleasant and lasting memories of this remarkable musician. He had a wonderful voice, of course, and was a gifted piano and organ player.

During one exhausting rehearsal session, he wanted to give everyone a break so he yelled out, “Someone, give me a phone number!”

Confused and a bit amused, one of us yelled out their phone number, “555-7913”. Immediately, he began playing a melody on the piano, harmonizing each note with rich chords. It was beautiful but we were all trying to discern what he was doing. Was this the number of some opus in a great work of music? Was this an esoteric numbering classification of music that we have yet to learn?

He yelled out again for another number and again, we obliged. Another beautiful melody, this time played with a ragtime-like beat. Finally, he looked up and said, “I’m constructing a song out of the notes of the scale that correspond to the telephone numbers you gave me!”

Oh my!

In an instant, we all got it! A musical scale contains 8 notes. For example, in the key of C, it would be C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. There are also sharps and flats which are half steps between most of these notes. Instead of naming each note, musicians sometimes refer to a note as the 3rd or 5th of a scale and then designate the key. Thus, in the key of C, the 3rd would be E while the 5th would be G. The ninth would be one more than C, or D. By “playing” the telephone number, he was taking the cue from the numbers and playing the corresponding note. Brilliant!

This story reminds me of how God can take the ordinary and bring forth His glory in most unexpected ways. A few loaves of bread and fish become a meal for over 5,000 men; jars of water are turned into sweet wine; a young poor girl is chosen to be the mother of the Son of God to give birth to Him.

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (ESV)

God is ready to turn our expectations upside down when He intervenes in our lives. But we first need to be willing to come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sins. And it is only by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior, will He forgive us of our sins and restore the fellowship that was shattered by our sins.

God can bring forth His glory from the ordinary events in all of our lives. Just give Him your trust!

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.