The Living Christmas Tree production and performances ended Monday evening at Thompson-Boling Arena. It is done…however, the lives that God changed will continue on.
On Sunday we had a reflections class in our Bible fellowship class, as the teacher had the lead role, and many of our class members were a part of the Tree in some capacity. This is a production for our church, to say the very least. The script for next year is already in the works, the music is recorded in July, and they practice for MONTHS on the performances from the dancers, to the actors, to the choirs. Last year was the first time I saw it, and was involved in a very small way for a couple of nights by throwing out Singles Ministry stress balls. The “joke” is everything gets pulled to the Tree each year. And boy are they right. This year I saw that first hand as it affected my small group schedule, was what all of us talked about and prayed about for weeks.
Back to class…Dustin brought up some snippets of stories from the first two performances on Saturday. The man who was portraying Jesus was new to the role this year. He made this statement to Dustin in passing the day before, “The view from the Cross is very different.” How true, in so many contexts. It’s mind blowing to really think on that statement. Our view from the foot of the Cross is drastically different than when we’re up on that Cross putting our sin there on Jesus. Or even Christ’s view on that Cross. The other thing Dustin brought up was perspective. Strip down the lights, the glitter, the costumes, what do you get? The gospel was presented, by the grace of God and through the Holy Spirit’s moving. Dustin had a huge responsibility to present the Gospel and invitation at the close of the performance. Alot of prayer went up for him in that, and God really used him to speak His Word. The perspective I came away with was in the moments of the Cross scene, the Resurrection, and the miracles was that God was moving across the audience. Lives were being changed…believers were coming back to Him…and most importantly, eternities were impacted, changed in moments.
I stood on the steps of the concourse on Sunday evening inside this basketball arena watching the portrayal of Christ being beaten and nailed to the Cross. I began to cry. I saw my sin, my actions, my SELF putting Him on that Cross. I saw His love for me. His love for us all. That moment I knew, God was working. His hand was on that place and showing those who may never hear any other way, about His Son, His sacrifice, and His ultimate love for each one of us.
I got the amazing privilege of being at the prayer booth for two performances and I was touched, moved, and stretched. We had several people come up for prayer and I got to talk with one young man who has been on my mind since Monday night. Pray for Dennis. My heart burns for him and what all he’s going through and struggling with his salvation on top of that. I also got to prayer walk around the concourse of the arena. That’s a truly humbling and joyous thing to do. It’s a privilege for us to do a public presentation such as that on the Gospel, and then to be able to walk around praying over it, the people in it, and those who are seeing it is just awesome. I’m truly blessed more than I deserve by all God’s wisdom, revelation, and gifts.