Christian Theatre

 

A hypothetical discussion between a Messianic Jew and a Pentecostal Irish Belfast Bible College graduate regarding their views on the Old and New testaments of the Bible

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” John 1:1,2

Before time ever existed one thing existed and that was the Word. Jesus was the Word made flesh and dwelt among us. Before time existed Jesus existed therefore logically speaking the Word made flesh which is Jesus existed before time existed.

The play unfolds:-

There are two very important people I would like to introduce to you. One is Methuselah middle aged with salt and pepper hair, a big moustache and a bigger tummy with five children four girls and one boy and a wife named Hannah. Names of children are Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Abigail and a son named Isaac. Methuselah has recently come to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour and so has his family they are Messianic Jews who have come to Northern Ireland on holiday.

My next friend is Paul, who likes to think of himself as apostle Paul because of the prophesies he has received from his Pentecostal brothers and sisters from the Elim Pentecostal Church. He is six feet tall, blue/grey eyes with glasses, very thin and scanty blond hair. He is in his late thirty’s. Paul is single and has a Bachelor’s degree in theology from Belfast Bible College. He is hoping to go to Israel as a missionary. Paul met Methuselah in Jerusalem when he went there on holiday and is hoping to get to know Sarah as a prospective bride. Paul and Methuselah have arranged to meet for coffee at Star bucks.

Their conversation begins :-

Meths:- Shalom Paul ( gives Paul a warm hug)

Paul:- Praise the Lord brother and stretches out his hand to shake hands but is overwhelmed by Methuselah’s big hug.

Meths:- How are you Paul? When are you planning on coming to Israel, the land flowing with milk and honey as Psalms 48:1,2 says “ Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. In the city of our God. In His holy mountain beautiful elevation. The joy of the whole earth is mount Zion on the sides of the North. The city of the great King.”

Paul:- Can’t imagine why God would send Jesus to that wee little land to fulfil his purpose in all the earth. He could have come to Northern Ireland ya know it is so green and welcoming, ya know man I am not patriotic but why the Middle East?

Meths:- Laughs out loud Oye ,Oye ,Oye, now you want to turn Jesus Irish. Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem in that wee little land of Israel, through Him all the nations of the earth will be blessed as it says in Luke 2:30-32 “ For mine eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before all the peoples. A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles and the glory to your people Israel.”

Paul:-Jesus is all that matters, once we have Jesus who came to save the world from sin and sickness and we thankfully, glory to God, do not need the law. As Martin Luther says (Ahem clears his throat and puts on his most important look) We are saved by grace and not by the law.

(Just then a beautiful blond waitress comes up to take their order, Paul adjusts his glasses and stares at the waitress unable to speak.) So Methuselah gives the orders of two cappuccinos. Paul keeps staring at the waitress till she goes back.

Meths:-Paul you might as well hang a sign around your neck that says ’single and looking intently’. Now coming back to what you said about the law, A.G. Herbert in his book ‘The Authority of the Old Testament says “ it is never said that the Mosaic law is now seen not to have been the law of God at all, on the contrary it is God’s law and it is holy and righteous and good. It is never said that the prophets are right and the law wrong, nor is the moral law endorsed and the ceremonial law repudiated, on the contrary Jesus has come not to destroy but to fulfil both the law and the prophets.”

Paul:- That’s good, Aha, Jesus never came to die for our sins in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament they had sacrifices ,the Mosaic law and of course the prophets. But I says I like the apostles filled with the Holy Spirit doing signs and wonders in Jesus’ name.

Meths:- ( shakes his head) My dear boy let me take you through a journey back to the time of prophets and prophesies and how the Holy Spirit worked in the Old Testament. The prophets filled with the Holy Spirit played a very significant role in the life of the Jewish people and therefore in our lives as well. As I said earlier Jesus is the fulfilment of the Law that was prophetic. Now let me take you to I Samuel 16:13 ( Methuselah takes out his Bible from his brown brief case) ‘Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.’ How did David kill the Lion and the bear 1 Samuel 17:49 ? The answer is simple dear boy because the Holy Spirit was on David. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit was not a free gift to all people only a chosen few were filled with the Holy Spirit and they were the Prophets, Priests, and Kings. The moment Samuel anointed David with oil, David had a change in perspective from David the Shepherd boy to David the King. Now lets go to your favourite part of scripture Luke 3:22 ” And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon him and a voice from Heaven which said “ You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased”. From that significant moment in Jesus’ life, Jesus had the ability to work miracles and now this is my point dear boy, which portion of scripture did Jesus read at the synagogue in Nazareth after being endowed with power from on high? He read Isaiah 61:1,2 and if the Old Testament was just the Law and Jesus just came to give us amazing grace why would He read Isaiah 61:1,2 ? A prophecy concerning Himself. Now lets go to Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion, Shout daughter of Jerusalem, See your King comes to you righteous and having salvation gentle and riding on a donkey on a colt, The foal of a donkey.” This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 21:7,8 where Jesus sat on the donkey as He approached Jerusalem and the crowds lay their cloaks before Him on the road and Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on the donkey just as the law had foretold. Jesus fulfilled the law and the law was prophetic. Therefore dear son you cannot have the new without the old. Like two sides of a coin ( as Methuselah flicks a coin in the air and catches it)

Paul:- Sips his cappuccino, looks at the young couple who have just entered Star bucks and gives a gives a big sigh. He pauses for a moment, takes a big gulp of cappuccino and chokes as it is really hot, he gulps a mouthful of cold water wipes his eyes, puts his glasses back on and continues. According to J P Fokkelman in his book Reading Biblical Narrative

“ The narrative art of the New Testament can be found in the four gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. These books have been written in the Greek of the Hellenistic world of the first century. All of them move around two land marks, Firstly the person of Jesus Christ and secondly the group of texts that for Jesus, His disciples and the writers of the gospels and the letters constitute the Holy scriptures, The Hebrew Bible. Paradoxically, we can only speak of the Old Testament after a New Testament has been written and recognised as a canon.

Meths:- Dear boy, what are you trying to prove? We had the law first Exodus 20 :1-17, the prophesies, example Isaiah 61:1-3 and Isaiah 53. The Old Testament foreshadowed the New. The Old Testament was the foundation on which the New Testament was built. The New Testament is a prophetic fulfilment of the Old Testament. Jesus is the Word made flesh who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins to fulfil the law and the prophets. Now coming back to a more personal level, You remember the time Rebecca was sick with typhoid I just prayed the Psalms with tears especially Psalm 42. ‘Tears have been my food’ when we did not have enough food in the house for our children to eat but by praying and fasting ( not optionally) God took us through that time when we were in Russia and brought us to the promised land of Jerusalem. Those prayers from the Old Testament worked and now we are here in Northern Ireland on holiday drinking Cappuccino.

Paul:- Takes of his glasses and wipes the tears from his eyes and blows his nose loudly on the Star Bucks serviette. Well Methuselah, it is great having you in Noren Ireian…. I agree with you dear brother that we need the Old Testament to have the New Testament,

Let us pray, Paul clears his throat and prays with the loud voice that people turn around and stare “ Dear God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Thank you for the privilege of knowing Yahweh, Emmanuel God with us and at the same time have the sweet communion with the Holy Spirit. He then pauses and says God give me a wife soon, with a hint to Methuselah, adds someone from the Holy land he again pauses and says in the words of the song by Keith Christianson “ We believe in the Father, who created all that is and we believe the universe and all there is is His. As a loving heavenly Father, He yearned to save us all to lift us from the fall we believe. We believe in Jesus the Father’s only son existing before time had begun a sacrifice for sin, He died and rose again to ransom sinful men we believe. We believe in the Spirit who makes believers one, our hearts are filled with His presence the Comforter has come. The kingdom unfolds in His plan, unhindered by quarrels of man His church upheld by his hand we believe. Though the earth be removed and time be no more these truths are secure, God’s word shall endure whatever may change these things are sure we believe. So if the mountains are cast down into the plains when Kingdoms all crumble this one remains, Our faith is not subject to seasons of man with our fathers we proclaim. We believe our Lord will come as He said, The land and the sea will give up their dead His children will reign with Him as their head, we believe, we believe.

Amen

Bibliography

1.Herbert A. G. The Authority of the Old Testament, Faber and Faber Ltd

2.Fokkelman J.P Reading Biblical Narrative, An Introductory Guide, John Knox Press 1995

3.Walter C Kaiser Jr. The Old Testament Documents, Inter varsity press 2001

4. Harrison RK Introduction to the Old Testament , The Tyndale Press 1969

Advertisements

Europa Hotel

 

The Europa Hotel

Introduction:-

It is a warm spring evening around 7:30 pm. Some diners are already having their evening meal. Europa is known for its renowned chef and delicious food.

The diners include a couple of elderly women sitting at the table by the window, with white hair, pearls and large earrings they seem to be stuck in an era of their own generation. On the right includes a gentle man in a business suit with red tie reading a business magazine he seems to be waiting for somebody as he sips his wine. In the middle of the dining area is a family with two children under three years of age with the children taking turns in who makes the most amount of noise. While the mother and father try to talk over their children’s cries. Some other diners are sprinkled around the large dining area like wild flowers in a bed of grass.

1)   Till Ahem…. Mr Know it all and Mrs Agree to whatever he says enter the room. The Host seems to be missing so Mr Know it all claps his hands louds waiter, waiter he shouts so loud that the children stop crying and one of the old ladies who had  her earring aid turned way up spills the soup on her dress due to the shock of his shouting and clapping.

Till Mr Know it all spots a server and shouts “ Boy you there yes I am talking to you shouts Mr know it all as Mrs agree to whatever he says goes red in the face, The server is doing his job on clearing up the table and it is not his duty to be a host. Not knowing what to do he hesitates Mr Know it all shouts again he has been waiting 5 minutes Mr know it all shouts again “ I have been waiting for the past ½ hour and you don’t know what to do, do you know who I am “ Before the thin freckle faced boy could answer the host shows up and apologises profusely .

Mr know it all raises his hand in a dramatic fashion and is shown to his table followed by his sweet partner who is red at the face with blond hair put up in a bun, she is thin with glasses and she gives an apologetic smile to the freckle faced server.

2)   A young lady around 20ish, who has a business date with a leading fashion magazine she is hoping to be hired as editor in chief. All her life she had lived for books reading and rereading her books, she had read hundreds of mills and boon books. She was a hopeless romantic.

She was wearing heels and contacts for the first time. She had a pretty face her dark hair in a bun, her black tight skirt and white blouse buttoned all the way to the top. She was too shy when it came to men and never really had a proper boyfriend. She saw this dark haired man sitting at the table in front and knew who he was he was the man who was supposed to interview her. Her panic attacks started she did not see the flower pot in front of her which had a huge artificial tree and before she knew it she was holding the top half of the tree and her legs were around the trunk “help” excuse me she whispered as her eyes met the dark eyes of a stranger who was sipping wine. The host managed to help her up and in her enthusiasm not to show she was shy she put out her hand to shake her interviewer’s hand before he knew it the wine was all over his trousers she managed to  mumble an apology then she got a brilliant idea she took the hand towel and wanted to wipe the wine from his trousers which he said was alright but at her instance he wanted to hold her back at which the chair gave way and they both fell on the floor of the restaurant on each other.

Her hair had come lose and was around her face the business man who was brutal actually started laughing like a school boy so did the dark eyed, dark haired beauty Seana what this business man realised was this jinx of a lady was actually gorgeous.

3)Roberta and Robert both Italian in heritage but born and brought up in the Uk. Met on a cruise ship and realised they had more in common than uncommon. They had been inseparable since they met six months back and they had first laid their eyes on each other.

Today Robert planned a surprise for Roberta as they waited for the Host to show them to their seats the host gave Robert a wink and Robert gave a thumbs up sign and from nowhere three violinists and an opera singer emerged and as the opera singer sang Robert got on his knees and asked Roberta to marry him. Roberta let out a cry a squel and said the biggest “Si”ever heard.

The old ladies by the window wipped the tears from their eyes. The other diners clapped their hands. This was a rather romantic end to an eventful evening.

 

Angela

Angela,

Angela  was  holding  the  envelope  in  her  hands  in  her  cold  dingy  apartment, she  really  needed  this  job  to  pay  the  rent ,  she  had  college  debts  to  pay she  had  finished  her  studies  in  the  University  of  California  and  had  flown to  New  York  to  move  in  with  her  boyfriend  Jacob  till  she  walked  in  on  him and  found  him  with  another  man,  her  Jacob  was  gay.

She  did  not  understand  it  he  was  tall  blonde  handsome  with  blue  grey  eyes  and  she  was  head  over  heels  in  love  with  him.  Literally  head  over heels.

Angela  was  short,  thin  with  long  brunette  hair  and  green  eyes  with  olive complexion.  She  just  wore  vests  with  jeans as  it  was  summer  in  New  York and  the  air  condition  worked  for  just  15 minutes  at  a  time. She  had   to  turn   it  on  and  off  every  15  minutes.

She  bit  her  lip  tore  open  the  envelope  closed  her  eyes  tight  and  said  a whisper  to  the  higher  powers  the  reader  might  call  as  God.  She  read  the contents  of  the  letter , she  had  got  the  job  as  an  apprentice  in  a  leading  law  firm. She  jumped , screamed  and  shouted  a  big  thank you   to  this  unseen  force  to  which  she   always  felt  was  masculine  and  not  feminine.

The  one  thing  she  loved  about  being  female  was  her  adoration  of  high heeled  shoes.  She  was  so  used  to  wearing  high  heels  she could  even  run with  them  and  also  wore  them  with  her  jeans  and  vests.

She  took  out  her  mobile  and  dialled  in  her  mother’s  number ,  her  mum  a sweet  blonde  haired  lady  was  a  loving  and  sympathetic  about  her  situation and  her  dad  and  mum  had  offered   her  some  money  which  she  would  have been  obliged  to  take  if  she  had  not  got  the  job. It  was  her   first   day tomorrow.

She  looked  at  the  closet   on  what   to  wear  yes  that  would  be  perfect  she thought. A  pink   suit  with  a  short  skirt.  Which  her  mum  had   forced  her  to buy  at  California. “ Girl  you  got  to  get  some  new  clothes  “ Angela  whispered to  her  self  as  she  rubbed  mousse  in  her  wavy  brown  hair  which  tossed around  each  shoulder.  Her  eyes  were  twinkling  with  excitement  with  her dimpled  cheek  and  olive  complexion  she  looked  stunning.  She  even  had matching  stiletto  heels  and  painted  her  finger  nails  pink  and  looked  great.

She  ran  out  of  her  apartment  locked  the  door  and  waved  a  taxi,  The  taxi stopped  with  a   screech  she  got  in. The  taxi  driver  was  an  African  American asked  where  she  was  going,  she  gave  him  the  address  as  he  rambled  on about  his  nagging  wife  Angela  gave  a  sympathetic  grunt  and  stopped  five minutes  from  her  work  at  star  bucks  to  buy  a  black  mocachinno.   She went in  two  minutes  early  a  cute  bombshell  who  was  endowed  in  abundance  in her  upper  part  of  her  body  by  a  skilful  plastic  surgeon  or  by  an  even skillfuller  God.

Mary  was  her  name  gave  her  a  quick  smile  and  after  introductions  told  her Derek  will  be  waiting  for  her  at  his  office. Who  is  Derek ? asked  Angela , he  is  the  head  boss  of  the  law  firm  said  Mary . Angela  had  only  met  the human  resources  people .

Angela  went  into  Derek’s  office , Derek  was  tall  dark  haired  with  a  cigarette in  one  hand  with  a  sharp  black  suite  with  even  darker   eyes and  dark  eye brows , a  mischievous  curl  on his  lips , So  you  are  Angela  he  said  with  a deep  voice  and  shook  her  hand  it  was  a  hard  firm  hand  shake ,  awestruck by  this  gorgeous   man  Angela  was   whispered   yes  my  name  is  Angela  thank  you  for  having  me   at  your  office, He  gave  a   smile  that   made  her heart   skip  a  beat  and  her  throat  dry. He  gave  her  some  files  and  said  look into  these  Dian  will  help  you.  He  opened  the  door  for  her  he  was  a  gentle man  as  well,  she   was  balancing  her  coffee ,  hand bag  and  files  and  some how  managed  to  go  to  the  desk  that  Mary  had  shown  her.

On  the  way  to  her  desk  she  saw  two  guys  the  shorter  guy  nudged  the  taller  guy  and  gave  her  a  wink  but  her  heart  was  still  beating  after  Derek. Dian  was  a  brethren  lady  she  did  not  have to  tell  her  she  looked  the  part. She  had  her long  white  hair  in  a  bun  and  even longer  grey  skirt . Dian  was a  warm  lady  and   Angela  warmed  to  her  and  they  did  the  cases  together and  soon  it  was  lunch  break.  As  the  other  ladies  and  men  came  together Dian  whispered  this  is  Chrissy  we  call  her  crazy  Chrissy ,  Chrissy  wore  a short  leather  skirt  and  a  tight  red  blouse  she  took  one  long  look  at  Angela so  you  are  the  new  girl  with  a  deep  hoarse  voice  that  comes  with  too much  cigarettes.   As  she  held  a  cigarette  in  her  red  colured  fingers  and took  a  swig  with  her  bright  red  lips  curling  over  the  cigarette  and  blew smoke  in  Angela’s  direction.  Yes  managed  to  say   Angela as  she  choked  on the  cigar rete  smoke.  You  got  a  boy  friend  she  asked?  Yes  had one  but  we broke  up,  Angela  whispered  recovering  from  the  chocking  experience  and not  wanting  to  go  into  the  details  to  which  an  African  American  lady standing  by  her  side  gave  her  a  hug  her  name  was  Kiera  she  was  sweet and  compassionate.  To  which   Chrissy  replied  don’t  worry  babe  there  are still  lots  of  fish  in  the  sea.

Angela  some  how   pushed  through  the  day  and  wrote  in  her  diary  that evening  “ Really  Grateful  for  today  and  this  job   To  God , signed  Angela.

The  End