Friday, June 7, 2013

Pilgrim's Progress

I've spent my afternoons this week leading a drama camp for sixteen middle school homeschoolers.  And I'm exhausted.  :)  This was a crazy idea Kim and I had -- to try to put together a show in five afternoons.  But I'm amazed at what these kids have done.

It helps that we are reprising one of our first plays:  Pilgrim's Progress.  If you're unfamiliar with this title, it's a book written by John Bunyan in the late 1600s.  Very heavy reading, full of scriptural references and seminary-worthy exposition, only recommended for the very literary-minded.  But we read a children's version in homeschool which boiled it down to just the allegorical story of Christian's journey to the Celestial City -- and this is what I based my script on, with a lot of comical character adaptations.  Like, Goodwill gives instructions regarding the path like a cheesy flight attendant.  Ignorance is a hippie.  Knowledge is a cowboy who greets him, "Well, howdy, pilgrim" . . . a la John Wayne.

Amid all the stress and harriedness of putting the show together, it has been nice to revisit this story.  One of the things I like about it so much is that there is something here to speak to everyone, wherever they are on their walk.  I've enjoyed being reminded this week about how the King knows his pilgrims are headed toward the Slough of Despond and sends Help (a superhero in our version) just when they need him.

And about how our burden is removed at the cross . . . never to be seen again.

About Christian's battle with Self, where he is almost defeated by the recollection of the many failures he has experienced on the way.

About the Shining One reminding him that his mistakes were already forgiven, way back at the cross.

And the one that always speaks to me the most: about how he languishes in the dungeon of the Giant Despair until he remembers the Key of Promise he was given, a key that unlocks any prison doors.

I love doing this play.  And I'm so grateful for the opportunity to do it one more time, even if it is a crazy, harried week putting it together.  Your last opportunity, Siouxland friends:  Pilgrim's Progress, 6:30pm tonight at Sunnybrook Church, a FREE 45-minute production.  These kids have worked hard and deserve an audience!  Come see us!

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