Take a Journey
7 days of Bible Messages
“Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?” - U2 in “One”
When people say, “playing Jesus” or “playing God,” they pretty much always mean something bad. The only good connotation is playing Jesus as an actor, which I’ve been doing on stage, on video, and as a voice actor, for more than twenty years. In addition to acting the role, I’ve directed dozens of actors in the role in many different productions, both small and large. I’ve also written dramatic presentations that included the character of Jesus. Some were short pieces and one was a three act musical. Some “Jesus” roles I played or directed stuck strictly to the recorded words in scripture and some imagined Christ speaking in a modern or imagined context. So, as an actor and an artist, I’ve been thinking about the role of Jesus for over twenty years. This is in addition to my thinking about Jesus as a believer and as a minister.
I’ve discovered that analyzing a script is not so different from analyzing scripture. As an actor and as a minister, I’m familiar with both. I’m a strong believer in the written word. Sola Scriptura is not just part of my Christian theology, it is a part of my acting methodology.
For those who don’t know, “Sola Scriptura” means “by scripture alone.” It basically means that God gave us, in the Bible, all we need to know about how to be saved and how to live. As a Christian, that means that what preachers say, what priests say, and what church traditions say only carry the authority of God if they can be defended and supported by the text, the scripture. Anything beyond that is simply the advice of a, hopefully, well-meaning human or institution.
As an actor, I believe that the author (If he or she is a good author) has put into the script everything I need to know to perform the role. The words that are to be said are there. The actions to be taken are described. Hidden in plain sight, in those lines and descriptions, is the character that I must bring to life. What directors say, what other actors say, and what traditional interpretations have said only have authority if they are supported by the text, the script. Anything beyond that is simply the advice of well-meaning people. That is Sola Scriptura for the actor. Fancy historical research might give you some context, but what you need to know is already in the text. A director might give you a motivation to try, but if it’s not in the script, it’s not in the script.
In this series of devotionals, I invite long-time Christians to put their knowledge of scripture to work in a new way, seeking out the motivations of Jesus in the same way an actor would, by carefully examining the script.
I also invite actors, Christian or otherwise, to take this on as an acting exercise and learning opportunity. The theatre has a unique way of analyzing things and I think if you apply it, and seek the truth of the scripture as eagerly as you would seek the truth of a script, you will be surprised at what you find.
8 days of Bible Messages
These devotionals center on learning about the character of God and learning what God’s character means to us who are made in His image. How should we act as servants of a God who is loving? Of a God who guides us gently? Of a God who is creative? Of a God who provides? What should change in us because of who God is? Getting to know God changes us and many times we have a radical improvement of our understanding of God when we step away from distractions and leave behind our normal surroundings. Whether we travel to a camp, a conference, a cabin, or even a friend’s house, getting new surroundings often helps us to break established patterns of the same old actions and same old thoughts and see God in a new way. I pray you break your pattern as you follow this journey and that as you focus on God’s character, God will speak to you in a way that shakes you up and changes something in you.
These devotionals were originally written to accompany the Allaso Ranch series of the children’s curriculum, Elevate, published by Fellowship Church. The devotionals were intended to give an adult perspective on the lesson for the volunteers and parents. The fully animated Bible Lesson videos for these devotionals are available to stream from LeadershipForKids.tv or on the LFK app for GooglePlay and iTunes.
8 days of Bible Messages
What promise is bigger? The one that takes five seconds? Or the one that takes five centuries? Or even longer? God made a promise to Eve, and to Adam. And it took generations to fulfill it.
Promises. When it all comes down to it, Christmas is a time of promises. A time of THE promise. Christmas is about the promise that was made to Eve in the garden. A promise to fix what was broken. A promise that healing would come and that God would chose to include Eve (and a long line of other men and women) in bringing that healing promise into reality. When the first couple felt nothing but shame and deserved nothing but punishment, they together were promised a very physical part in making, and bringing to the world, grace for their shame and payment for their failures. A savior was promised. A plan was set in motion. A time was chosen. Men, women, countries, and heavenly bodies were moved, manipulated, called, led, sent, guided, and pushed out of the way to make way for God’s promise. Adam, whose failure and sin taints us, and Eve, whose desire for perfect knowledge caused perfect destruction, joined together to physically begin the process of bringing into the world the seed of God’s promise. God’s promise is for all people, but it is carried to us one person at a time and many people had a unique view of God’s promise being fulfilled. Especially when you are looking at something as huge as the promise of Christmas, your point of view matters. In these next eight days, take a look at Christmas through the ground level POV of some biblical characters who had an up close and unique perspective on Christ’s birth and the fulfillment of God’s biggest promise.
These devotionals were originally written to accompany the Professor Playtime’s Christmas Shop Of Wonders series of the children’s curriculum, Elevate, published by Fellowship Church. The devotionals were intended to give an adult perspective on the lesson for the volunteers and parents. The fully animated Bible Lesson videos for these devotionals are available to stream for at home use at LeadershipForKids.tv or on the LFK app for GooglePlay and iTunes.
8 days of Bible Messages
There are some mysterious and weird stories in the Bible.
This devotional series takes a look at stories where there is some sort of mystery or where something extraordinarily strange has happened.
When something extraordinary happens in the Bible, there is usually an extraordinarily important lesson for us to learn.
These devotionals were originally written to accompany the Roanoke Jones series of the children’s curriculum, Elevate, published by Fellowship Church. The devotionals were intended to give an adult perspective on the lesson for the volunteers and parents. The fully animated Bible Lesson videos for these devotionals are available to stream from LeadershipForKids.tv or on the LFK app for GooglePlay and iTunes.