I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:14-16 ESV
Steven Cole tells this story in the conclusion of a sermon on 1 Timothy 3:
The great composer, Gicomo Puccini, whose operas number among the world’s favorites, was stricken with cancer in 1922. But he was determined to write a final opera, “Turandot,” which some consider his best. His students implored him to rest, to save his strength, but he persisted, remarking at one point, “If I do not finish my music, my students will finish it.”
In 1924, Puccini was taken to Brussels to be operated on. He died there two days after his surgery. But his students did finish his final work. In 1926, the gala premiere was held in Milan under the baton of Puccini’s favorite student, Arturo Toscanini. All went brilliantly that evening until they came to the point in the score where the master had been forced to put down his pen. Toscanini, his face wet with tears, stopped the production, put down his baton, turned to the audience and cried out, “Thus far the master wrote, but he died!”
After a few moments, his face now wreathed in a smile, Toscanini picked up his baton and cried out again, “But his disciples finished his work!”
Our Master died, was raised from the dead, and ascended to the Father, leaving us the most important task in the world: to finishing His work, to proclaim His great salvation among the nations. To do it, each one of us must commit ourselves to a living relationship with the living God. We must commit ourselves to one another as members of God’s household. We must commit ourselves to know, live by, and defend God’s Word of Truth.