In one of my classes this semester, Proclamation in a Virtual Reality with Dr. Joy Moore, we’ve been exploring how a new generation of preachers is to proclaim the Gospel in today’s world. We’ve been reflecting on how technology shapes us and our views of the world, how the biblical story challenges the default stories of our culture, and how we are to proclaim the biblical story to a generation whose imagination has not been shaped by it.
One of our recent assignments was to write a modern day parable. I hope you find it to be challenging and edifying.
There was a playwright and director who was known throughout the nation for his magnificent works. People received them with great fanfare whenever and wherever they were performed. He loved traveling and sharing his works with new people. So one day, this man moved to a new city and put out a casting call to all in the community. He put fliers that included details about the audition in storefront windows downtown, on windshields of cars in store parking lots, and in the hands of everyone he came in to contact with.
Many in the community responded, and amazingly, the director found a role for each of them in the play. This was his normal routine, for as he traveled to different cities he would always adapt his most famous script to fit with the region, their customs and culture, and the number who responded to the casting call. The cast practiced nightly for many months. The first few weeks they all simply read through the script and practiced their parts aloud. The director told them his thoughts and feelings behind the script, how they should say each line, and why he crafted the words as he did. After this, they began staging. The director carefully placed them on stage for each scene and directed their movements. Finally, they did weeks of dress rehearsals until the director was pleased with everything.
At this point, the director began placing fliers all over town and inviting all the new friends he had made to the show. He encouraged his actors to do the same and for weeks they went around telling their friends and families how much fun they had had preparing and rehearsing for the show and how excited they were for them to come see it.
On opening night the show was packed. People had begun waiting in line that morning in order to make sure they got tickets, and the box office sold tickets until they were sure the fire marshal would shut them down. Children sat in their parents’ laps. Young people stood along the walls so that the older people could have seats. And the place was buzzing with excitement. The director came on stage and thanked the community for their hospitality, their support of the arts, and for their attendance. And then the show began.
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