An experience Pastor Carl Hefner told when they were living in the northwest came when he attended a major production of a Passion Play with thousands in attendance.
He was sitting high and near the back of the balcony, just in front of him and to the right was a large sound system control panel, wondering how his small church could reproduce these effects for their Easter story. As the story unfolded on stage, his attention was diverted by a lady in front of him pulling on the sleeve of a man sitting next to her and asking questions.
Pastor Hefner heard her ask “Who is that?” It was obvious she did not know the story. The man next to her leaned over and whispered, “That is Jesus.” “Oh”, she went back watching the action on stage. Then, another actor came on the stage, and again a tug on the sleeve. “Who is that?” The man answered, “That is Peter.” “Oh,”
Then, “What does he do?” “He is a disciple.” A pause. “What is a disciple?” After a thoughtful moment, the man explained. “They are all in a gang, and Peter is one of the gang.” “Oh”, and she went back listening and watching the action on the stage. And Hefner went back to watching the two engineers with knobs and levers creating all the thunder and lightening.
Again Hefner’s attention was drawn to the lady in front of him. Her whole body was shaking in uncontrolled sobbing, tears unashamedly streaming down her face. In desperation she cried, “What are they doing to Him?” “They want to kill him.” She asked “What for? He didn’t do anything.”
In amazement she watched them put Him in the tomb.
We know the story of Sunday morning, but she didn’t, and when Jesus comes out of the tomb, she jumped to her feet, waving her arms in the air and shouting, “He came back, He came back.” Then turning to her new friend, “Why did He do that?” “Well, you see we are all sinners, the whole world is full of sinners. He did that so one day we can meet and be in the presence of a righteous God.”
It would be interesting how the Holy Spirit directed this lady, who lived, who knows where, to attend a Passion Play, then was seated next to a man who was able to think fast enough to translate the story into ideas and vocabulary of the street … beautiful.
Let’s remember to pray for each family in our little community.
Ward and Doris White