Liturgical Drama, Revised Songbird Version

WHO IS THIS?!?!! – a participatory reading of Mark 4:35-41

He, Qi. Peace Be Still, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved June 16, 2015]. Original source: heqigallery.com.
He, Qi. Peace Be Still, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved June 16, 2015]. Original source: heqigallery.com.
Voice 1: On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them,

Voice 2: “Let us go across to the other side.”

Voice 1: And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was.

Voice 2: Other boats were with them.

Voice 1: A great windstorm arose!

Congregation: Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!

Voice 1: And the waves beat into the boat!

Voices 1 and 2: We’re swamped! We’re swamped!

Congregation: We’ll drown! We’ll drown!

Voice 2: But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.

Voice 1: They woke him up and said to him, “Teacher!”

Voice 2: Teacher!

Congregation: “Teacher! Do you not care that we are perishing?”

Voice 1: He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!”

Voice 2: Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.

Voice 1: He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

Voice 2: And they were filled with great awe.

Voice 1: They said to one another, “Who is this?”

Congregation: WHO IS THIS?!?!!

Voice 2: “Even the wind and the sea obey him.”

Voice 1: Even the wind and the sea.

*****

This participatory scripture reading is adapted from an earlier version using four voices and congregation, which may be found here: Even the Wind and the Sea.

 

Easter 2C, Revised Songbird Version

Risking Thomas

They locked the doors.

We’ve locked the doors and sat around our own tables, fearful, haven’t we?

  • Will our neighborhood ever feel safe again?
  • Will the storm knock out the power?
  • Will the Soviets attack and invade and change our way of life?

I’m old enough to remember the 1980s, “Red Dawn” version of that last fear, the one that had people in my house reading books about living off the grid, my excuse for buying copies of all my favorite children’s books so my children (some merely speculative at that time) could read the classics when the libraries were turned into God-knows-what.

Anxiety gets us worked up enough; when there’s a good reason to be afraid, for real, our brain chemistry can rearrange our judgment.

It had to be that way in the house where the disciples locked the doors. According to John’s gospel, Jesus drew attention and trouble from the beginning of his ministry. Their Jesus waltzed into the Temple in Chapter Two and laid it down. When he returned later, he vanished his way to safety, inspiring murderous rage in the religious leaders.

The disciples knew it. They felt it. Jesus was dead, but things were no better.

They locked the doors.

But someone went out to get news and supplies. Someone had to do it, like my wife making the last trip to the Giant in the freezing rain a few weeks ago. Better get it done.

Since someone particular missed the visit from Reappearing Jesus, no more restrained by locked doors than by death, we may deduce the one who went out for whatever they needed was Thomas.

So when you go to preach this Sunday, or you sit in the pew and listen to this passage being read, remember he did more than doubt.

He risked.

  • He offered himself up to die with Jesus. (John 11:16)
  • He asked the direct, even obvious, question. (John 14:5)
  • He left the safe house. (John 20:24)

He even risked when he expressed his doubts. Imagine how hard that must have been, in the midst of his rejoicing comrades!

Listen and read carefully. Does he ever touch the wounds? He risks one more time, declaring “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)

You Won’t See Me Jesus gives him one more push; he gives it to all of us. “Believe in me,” he says, “whether I appear in body or not. That’s faith.” (John 20:29, Revised Songbird Version)

Good-News-300x248But they kept looking, and John tells us they had breakfast with him on the beach, and maybe other places, too.

In this liminal time of the Fifty Days of Easter, I’ll be looking for Him. You never know what might happen when you go out to get the paper.

 

Hebrews 12:1-2, Revised Songbird Version

Let’s Run the Race

Let’s run the race that is laid out in front of us,

since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us.

Let’s throw off all the things that hold us back.

Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus,

the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

He gave everything for us, for the joy that lay ahead of him.

~Hebrews 12:1-2, paraphrased

This has been our theme text for Stewardship, admittedly the Revised Songbird Version.