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Trumpets and Violins

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Have you ever heard anyone say:

"He's always blowing his own trumpet!"
- which means he is for ever saying how good he is -
or

"She is only second fiddle" -
which means she never comes first?

Which would you rather be - a trumpet or a fiddle ?
(but let's give it its proper name and call it a "violin" sometimes)

Which would you rather play - a trumpet or a second violin?

One of Jesus' disciples was very good at playing second fiddle -
and no good at all at blowing his own trumpet.
His name was Andrew and he is the patron saint of Scotland
......and Russia......and Greece.....
and probably a lot of other countries as well.

When we read about Andrew in the Bible,
he always seems to be bringing someone to Jesus -
in fact he even brought his brother, Peter, to meet this new teacher.
Andrew was a disciple before Peter -
but Peter became much better known than his brother -
and we never once hear of Andrew resenting this.
He was content to bring his brother -
and then step quietly back and let Peter take most of the limelight.

A perfect "second fiddle" in fact.
But things might have been very different for us all if he hadn't.

Then there was the story of the feeding of the five thousand.
All those people so eager to hear what Jesus had to say
that they had forgotten to bring any food with them!
Everyone knows about the boy who was prepared to share his lunch
of two small fish and five little barley loaves.......
but do we remember that it was Andrew
who brought him forward to Jesus?

Second fiddle again!

Everyone was fed and there were baskets of scraps left over.
All those people might have been very hungry
if it hadn't been for Andrew -
and we would never have heard of THAT miracle!

Maybe we Gentiles are Christians because of Andrew.......
for he it was, again, who brought a group of Greeks
(who were, of course, Gentiles like most of us)
and arranged for them to meet with Jesus.
And now, today, we can meet with Him too.

Did you know that in an orchestra it is much more difficult
to play the part of a second violin than a first violin?
The first violin generally has all the best tunes to play
while the poor old seconds just play a harmony.
(Altos in a choir have the same problem!)
It's easier to play a tune than a harmony, you know
and in an orchestra it is much more difficult
to play the part of a second violin
- but the tune sounds thin and feeble
if the harmony of the second violins isn't there!

And it is easy for the trumpets in the brass section
to make a LOT of noise
- and much harder for them to play quietly!

To blow your own trumpet........to play second fiddle........

If I asked you again which you would prefer to do.........
what would you reply?

By the way, we remember Andrew here in Scotland
on 30th November every year
and the Scottish flag - the Saltire - flies from all the buildings.
That's the flag with the white, diagonal St. Andrew's cross
on a blue background.
(Andrew didn't think he deserved to die on a cross
the same shape as the one on which Jesus died.)

Andrew - patron saint of Scotland -
and of everyone who gladly plays second fiddle!

Copyright (c) Elizabeth Tolson 30th October 1998


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