When I graduated from high school, my parents – in lieu of a big graduation party or a class ring – gifted me with the family vacation of my choice. We went to New England and one of our stops was in Stratford, Connecticut at the Shakespeare Theater there. We started out in the nosebleed section but, during intermission, my dad – who would talk to anyone – struck up a conversation with an usher who learned we’d traveled all the way from Pennsylvania and that this evening at the theater was his teenage daughter’s dream. The usher found us three seats in the front row. It was the splash zone. I don’t remember the play we saw but a character spewed (purposefully) whatever he was drinking and I got sprayed… a little gross. But I’ve never forgotten it. Honestly, I didn’t really care much for the Shakespeare plays I read in literature class in high school. But that night at the theater was amazing. It came to life.
Few people think about scripture as literary drama. Often when I hear scripture read in churches I’m amazed that we can make such an exciting, life-changing story sound so dull and boring. One of my seminary professors said there’s no worse sin than to make the gospel boring.
Our gospels are more than religious writings; more than good theology. They’re also really good literature. This month at Trinity Fusion our guest will be John Collier who will talk about his lifelong passion for community theater. We’ll also look at Jesus’ parables as drama. Not many people know that, in the first century in the Mediterranean world, people didn’t just listen quietly. Audiences weren’t passive. They would enter into the action; they’d gesture and shout things out. I imagine if we did that today not as many people would fall asleep in church!
Join us for Fusion on Monday, March 18, at 6 p.m. Bring your story; bring you into a welcome space to connect, discover and grow. Check out the Fusion Facebook page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/782213388828582/