EXPERIENCING GOD THIS CHRISTMAS

As we enter the final week of rehearsals for TWO FROM GALILEE, I wanted to focus on the spiritual themes at the heart of the story. Karla Worley is the book writer and lyricist for the musical. She adapted Marjorie Holmes novel into the structure and form for the show. She writes the following about the spiritual content of the show from her perspective:

A friend pointed out to me that the story of Mary and Joseph is not really about finding true love, but about finding God’s will. At the time, I was studying through Henry Blackaby’s bible study, EXPERIENCING GOD, which outlines seven realities of our experience with God:

1. God is always at work around you.

2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.

3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.

4. God speaks to reveal Himself, His purposes and His ways.

5. God’s invitation always leads to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.

6. You must make major adjustments to join God in what He is doing.

7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you. 

Mary, Joseph, and all of the characters in the story are classic examples of these realities as they move through the nativity narrative. The story of the Incarnation is a mysterious, romantic, courageous story of a God who reached down to intervene dramatically in the course of history and human beings who played a role in accomplishing His will at that moment in time. We must remember that they were human beings, with real thoughts and feelings like us: like us, they had their own agendas for their lives, which had to be sacrificed in order to accept God’s invitation to join Him in His work. 

Not everyone in the story declared as Mary, “Be it done to me according to Your word.” Some of them were dragged kicking and screaming into God’s plan. Some of them struggled to believe; some had to change their entire understanding of God. There was tension and dissension among family, between husband and wife, parent and child.

It’s important that we portray these very real feelings and actions, because Christ’s coming was a real and human event, just as it was supernatural and divine. The people sitting in the audience need to see that it was real, that God Himself is real and is willing to deal with very real people in very real situations. 

As we pray and rehearse over the next several days, we need to keep in focus that our purpose is to help the audience – especially those who are lost – experience God. Using these realities as a personal guide, pray and think through these questions:

1. God is always at work around you.

Where do you see this? Are you looking for Him? What does He want to teach you through this production and who does He want you to reach out to, because He is already at work in that individual’s life?

2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.

How is your relationship with God at this point? He is pursuing you – are you pursuing Him as well?

3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.

What specific actions can you take to join God in the work He is doing around you?

4. God speaks to reveal Himself, His purposes and His ways.

Are you listening for God’s voice? Look for Him and listen for His voice as we prepare!

5. God’s invitation always leads to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.

What is God inviting you to do that is a crisis of belief for you? Many times, it is obedience in an area of our lives where we have been disobedient. Or – it could be a calling to some new endeavor for Him. Don’t allow this season to pass without submitting to Him.

6. You must make major adjustments to join God in what He is doing.

Everyone in the Christmas story had to make personal sacrifices to follow God. Are you willing to do the same?

7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you. 

I pray that you will experience God in the next several days as He accomplishes His will through us. He has called us to share His story – to use the gifts and resources He has given us to be a witness for Him. Pray that you, and that all of us, will experience God in a very real way as we present TWO FROM GALILEE. Pray that our audience will experience God as they are reminded that Jesus is the fulfillment of every promise of God – and that He is truly “all they ever wanted” . . . even if they don’t know it yet!