Friday, November 17, 2006

A High School Musical

My oldest daughter, a sophmore, is in the high school musical this weekend.

Last night was the first performance of "Children of Eden".

Have you ever seen this production? It is an adaptation of the creation & flood story in Genesis.

Beyond the usual fatherly pride, I was struck by two thoughts as I watched and listened.

First, in the musical, Adam & Eve (the first created humans), refer to God as "Father". This name for God continues throughout the story. This is interesting because in the Genesis account, this title is no where to be found. God is referred to as Creator and other less personal names.

"Father" reminded me of the intensely personal nature of the Creator to those He has created; that One who made us is so much more than simply a detached architect or engineer who constructed something. He is a Person who created other people in His image to be in relationship with Him; to laugh, to cry, to share, to talk, to yell...the stuff of life with people.

Jesus teaches his disciples to call God "Father". "The Lord's Prayer" begins "Our FATHER..." (which is the same title many give the prayer.)

I wonder if some would see this as a "Christianizing" of the Genesis account. Maybe so. However, I found this to be a powerful description of what I believe Scripture teaches about the relationship God desires with people.

The second thought was this: the same problem plagues Adam & Eve that later plagues their boys (Cain & Abel), and later plagues Noah, his family, and the people living during his time. Namely, they all want something that they have been told is forbidden. In the musical, the exact same words are used as each person promises NOT to give into temptation. And the same words are used again to justify why they did break their promise.

Each time the vow is broken, the breaker is surprised by the extent to which the damage they have caused will go. Things rapidly spiral out of their control, each time, to their great amazement.

This "echo" becomes more and more powerful throughout the evening as the words are remembered and the previous situations are recalled. The audience is reminded that the situation of Noah's sons is similar to that of Adam's sons which is similar to God's first children.

As a storyteller, I thought the dialogue was quite effective, tightly wrapped and made quite an impact. It reminds me that maybe the dilemma I find myself in is not that new or unique. That the temptation you face is probably the same basic issue that has plagued humanity since our inception.

One last thought. There is a line close to the end of the musical that tells us we're not so far down the road yet that we can't turn around. It suggests that part of being "made in the image of God" is the capacity to join in creating. We have been given the gift to help shape our future.

May we use that power wisely.

Grace & peace.

No comments: