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Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Easter Dramas

The drama ministry at our church is up and swinging.

This past Sunday was our first of three Easter skits. I wrote the skits along with a member of our drama team named Wiley. Each skit introduces the choir anthem for that Sunday. (Anthem is Baptist speak for the song the choir sings alone.)

The first Easter skit we titled "When I Met Jesus." It was a choral reading. A series of four monologues woven together. It worked pretty well--especially for the first of a series. It was meditative, not at all flashy, minimalist direction, leaving quite a bit of room for us to raise the bar as we lead up to Easter. (This was by design. I'm not trying to say our drama team did not do well.)

Next week, is the skit Wiley wrote, "Bound." This is brilliant. Four modern day Bible characters--Matthew, the nameless woman who poured perfume on Jesus' feet, Paul, and Bartimeas--all discuss their sins in a short opening monologue (about six sentences each). A character we call "The Enemy" offers them rope, which they each accept and use to tie up their own arms so they are "bound" by their sin.

Then Jesus comes in. (I'm Jesus because I'm 31. In two more years, I won't get to be Jesus anymore.) While Jesus unties their hands, they each describe meeting him.

Then, here is Wiley's clencher. They take the ropes Jesus untied and tie him up. The picture is a variation on the crucifixion, but it is pretty vivid.

After all of the characters turn their backs on Jesus, he unties himself saying, "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life, only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down. And authority to take it up again. This command I received from my father."

I'm very excited to perform this skit for the church because I find it to be personally moving. It shares the good news in a way that is fresh and vivid.

In my excitement, though, I am reminded of the paradox of drama ministry. Is it wrong to think of Palm Sunday as a kind of opening night? We are so excited to share the message God has given us--at least that is how we talk about it. But how do we separate out our excitement for performance in general. Without this excitement, we would never have developed the smallest bit of craft. We would never have the skill sets we need to perform drama for our church. How do we keep this excitement and joy about God and not ourselves? Is it enough to just keep devoting our skits to God through prayer?

I worry. Because I know the dark pride that hides inside me.

HillCountryWriter Category: Drama
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I enjoyed reading your skits the second is very powerful. Most of all I so admire your honesty of flesh and not want to become proud of your dramas. I also love drama and the excitement of seeing it come to life. Keeping all of our talents dedicated to God first and foremost everytime we set to work is always the key.
God Bless, have a wonderful Easter.

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