We've gone through 4 performances and 2 benefits this week and its been an amazing experience, albeit very exhausting. Performing the Passion Week of Jesus Christ for nearly a week straight pulled a lot out of us, but it also brought a lot of amazing results. We'll have a full recap of the week in our Podcast on Wednesday. Today, we look at Sunday's performance and what stood out.
Not A Laid Back Night
Historically, Sundays can have lax results. This is not to say that the cast doesn't bring their full effort, it's that the effort is the victim of a week of draining performances. Including benefits, 5 performances have taken a toll on us this week. Combined with attending a powerful Sunday Morning Worship Service, it's understandable if the cast were to have been dragging a bit.
Last night, though, the audience didn't react to us like we were dragging. Audible cheering could be heard in blackouts between scenes. Audiences were reaching for Jesus in every scene just like in previous performances. Eyes were full of tears at the Last Supper when we exited through the crowd. The Procession and Crucifixion saw people turning and shifting in their seats just hoping to get a glimpse of Christ as he passed by. It's amazing how this year the audience has been so invested in the production.
Passion Overcomes Physical Exhaustion
I know that we brought everything we could as a cast last night. I saw Romans who were dealing with head colds go out there and rough up Jews with the same vigor as on Thursday. I saw Lepers worn out from a long week leaping and screaming with the same vigor as they did at the outset of this production. I saw haters and lovers shake their fists and reach with desperation as though they were at full strength despite having poured themselves out continually for days. I looked in the eyes of my fellow Apostles and saw the same fire and belief we have held since this whole journey began. I witnessed Jesus exhibit the anguish, passion and love for humanity that Troy has shown throughout this process.
It's not to say we weren't weak. Many of us looked on the verge of collapsing as we huddled backstage. However, something came over us when we burst out onto that stage. We were transformed by the Holy Spirit and given a special blessing to carry ourselves through. It all paid off, too, because once again the altars were filled.
When I walked forward to pray with people, another lady had come forward in a wheel chair. She suffered from diabetes, high blood pressure and other illnesses that had confined her to a wheel chair. Walking had become too difficult. Yet, I saw her get up at first with assistance and begin to step. Suddenly, though, she began to shout and praise God as though nothing was wrong with her. This happened because our cast brought the same energy from our performance to the altars. We laid hands on her and let the power of God flow through us in faith. He gets all the glory. I'm just happy we all get to be a part of that process.
Beyond that great miracle, I witnessed a lot of families coming forward and praying together. It was definitely a theme of the altar. They held each other tight and wept as they were overcome with God's Spirit and spoke with tongues. Others came forward and asked for prayer for their absent family members. It was so touching to see such a renewed focus on the family in the altar. I'm praying that God would let that focus overflow into each of our cast member's families. We all make such sacrifices that take us away from time with our loved ones. We will need the blessings of God to keep ourselves. Thankfully, we serve the God of the overflow!
I know a lot of local people are reading the blog and listening to the podcast. However, I wanted to let you know that there are people from all over the world who are tuning into find out about Above All. One missionary from Peru has tuned into every report. I've also seen people from Brazil, Estonia, the Philippines, Canada and other countries show up on our website and YouTube Channel. Even across the United States, we've seen people from nearly every state of the Union click on one or more of our articles. It's been a blessing to reach so many people from so many different places. Above All is reaching across the world and encouraging people from all backgrounds. I can't wait to report more starting next Wednesday with the TWTL PODCAST and our Above All Week One Review.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.