My home church did something unusual for both the Good Friday service and Easter Sunday service that really got my attention. They used dramatization to help tell the story of Jesus’ passion and resurrection that made the story come alive.
On Friday night, after praise and worship, three people acted out monologues – they played a servant girl, Barabbas and Pilate. Man, they were good! Each had a small, simple set that they spoke from: the servant girl was in the upper room, Pilate was in his chambers, and Barabas was in front of a cross. Each told the story of the events that happened from their perspective – and it was riveting. Barabbas’ story was particularly one that I’d never thought of before….he told how it should have been HIM on that cross, and how someone else took his place. His astonishment was palpable.
On Sunday, “Peter” spoke to us about how he’d broken his promise to remain faithful to Jesus, and what it felt like to have betrayed Him within hours of his pledge. Then he told of the forgiveness that he was given and the grace extended to him…how underserving he was, and yet how wonderful it was to experience it. The two “Marys” stood in front of the tomb and described how they had come to discover that it was empty, and how the angels had appeared to tell them the incredible news that Jesus had risen. They spoke of seeing Jesus again and how excited they were that their Lord had returned and commissioned them to tell the world about him.
Seeing these characters come to life was an awesome way to truly experience the Easter story. Maybe your church does this kind of thing on a regular basis, but for our little church, this was a bit out of the norm. It made me appreciate not only the significance of Easter, but the giftings of people within my own church to make the gospel come alive through the arts. WOW!
Drama is just one way that God is using the arts for his glory. Music, visual arts, film making, dance and digital media are other exciting means that are being used more and more. I LOVE IT! Not only do these arts enhance ministry, but it gives people a chance to truly use their gifts for God’s glory. Let me ask you: are you involved in the arts in your own church? What kinds of things is your church doing to make the gospel come alive? Do you know of resources available for people who are interested in becoming involved in artistic expression?
I can’t wait to hear!