Last night, my husband and I had the rare pleasure to watch the concert version of Jesus Christ Superstar with John Legend as Jesus.
Yesterday was Easter as well.
We attended church in the morning before our family came together for an Easter lunch complete with ham, world famous Conard potato salad and coconut cake. Yum.
Everyone went home and we settled in for the evening. The weather had been crummy all day and snowing! This is a rare occasion in the midwest on Easter. It didn’t really put one in the mood for hopeful things, you know?
As I watched the story of Jesus’ crucifixion unfold on the television, I was reminded once more of the power of the arts in our lives.
If you have a chance to see the live version, do see it. If for no other reason, watch the audience’s reactions to the performance. That’s worth the two hour program.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music is absolutely astounding. I think it is some of his best work.
Sitting there, riveted to the television screen, I thought about the church service I attended in the morning. Although our pastor did his usual amazing job, something was lacking for me.
I couldn’t pin point it.
As I watched Jesus Christ Superstar it hit me.
Dramatizing Jesus’s crucifixion rather than merely talking or sermonizing about it, made it all the more real for me.
You know, we read the crucifixion many times in a year especially if your church has communion every week as ours does.
Although I stay focused on what communion means, sometimes my minds wanders.
It’s hard to remember something which I did not see in person. We have no photos, no newsreel or video from his death.
Last night’s dramatization inspired me to see in my mind’s eye the age old message–Jesus gave up His life for me. Although I wasn’t present for His death, I imagined it as I watched the production. It made it real for me.
That’s the point of theatre, isn’t it? To translate or give language to what we feel or experience.
Let’s face it. The world is a harsh place, cold, unforgiving, filled with anger and judgement.
Art helps us.
It transcends the ugliness and finds the beauty even in the harshest and saddest of times.
It makes those life moments bearable or at least easier to understand.
The end of last night’s performance of Jesus Christ Superstar was stunning.