A few months ago, a new friend of mine Clare invited me to her graduating cello recital at the New England Conservatory of Music. I got the invite at the last minute on the day of the recital. That day I had a lot of other things going on, and I was meeting someone earlier that evening. But I decided, “I’m going to accept the invitation. I’m going to go.”
So, I eventually drove my car to the T and took the train to the school. After a few questions along the way, and sifting through a few hallways, I finally found the room. But I was late.
I stopped at the door to the recital room, and I could hear beautiful music. I looked through the door, and I couldn’t believe what I saw. There was a guy playing the piano, and there was Clare, who always seemed quiet and reserved, pouring her whole heart into her cello music. I had never seen her like that before – I was amazed.
So, after the first intermission, I made it in and found a seat near another friend of mine that I saw. We sat there and listened, and I tell you, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. There were times when she was playing the instrument with the bow, and then with just her fingers, all with such an energetic and fast pace. And the piano player! He was going a mile a minute, too, with his hands all over the place. I was just in awe. To me, what they were doing was impossible.
At the end of the recital, while everyone was giving the fourth curtain call, I turned to my friend and said, “I don’t think I’ll ever see anything like this for the rest of my life.”
So, a lot of people got in line to congratulate her, and one of her classmates and I got to chatting and I asked him, “Is she the best in the school? Or do all you guys play like that?” He looked at me funny. “You don’t know ‘The Clare’? Tonight, you’re seeing ‘The Clare’. Definitive.”
I was seeing one of the best cellists in the world in all her glory, in the event that defines who she is. What a privilege! But when I accepted the invitation, I had no idea what was in store. There was no bragging, no air about her that made me think that she was a world-class artist. That greatness was completely hidden.
Remember when Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James, and John on top of the mountain? There was Moses and Elijah speaking with Him about His coming Passion. Now, Moses represents the Law, and Elijah represents the prophets, so that the apostles would understand that Jesus was in agreement with the law and the prophets. This defines who Jesus is, a fulfillment of the law and prophets. The Passion? That was the event that would also define for the world who Jesus is, the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. And, as if that weren’t enough, after the conversation, Moses and Elijah disappeared, and Jesus was left alone as the Father Himself defined who He is in the most clear words: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Mt 17:5)
These apostles were getting to see Him in all His glory. That day, they knew Him truly as “The Lord”. Definitive.
See, Jesus kept His glory and greatness hidden. There was no air about Him that He was divine. They got to see His glory because of one reason:
They accepted His invitation.
Jesus’ glory and greatness are completely hidden from us. He wants to reveal them to each of us, because it’s only then that we can truly know Him. He offers us a free invitation, and even if it comes at the last minute, even if you have other things going on, let me offer you a piece of advice:
Accept it. Go.
Then, you’ll know Him as “The Lord.”