Last Thursday afternoon, Steve and I sat for two and a half hours with two of our teenage grandchildren in the magnificent Sight & Sound Theatre in Branson, Missouri, watching the story of JESUS acted out on a stage. It was far better than any Broadway production I've ever seen.
The audience was spellbound from the opening scene. From the nets full of fish to the feeding of the 5000, from the raging sea to the Garden of Gethsemane, from the raising of Lazarus to Jesus' ascension into heaven, it was there in front of our eyes. The characters of Peter, Nicodemus, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magadalene, the mother of the sons of Zebedee, and Judas were skillfully portrayed.
The personality of Jesus in all of its aspects was revealed from His gentle teaching to His thunderous upheaval with the moneychangers in the temple to His agonizing prayers before He faced the crucifixion. I wiped tears on several occasions and noticed that I wasn't the only one moved by what was being shared on stage.
I have had a personal relationship with Jesus since I was 8 years old. I KNOW these events really took place. This was the story of My Savior.
It's not easy to get to Branson, MO from North Alabama. I'd estimate between 10 and 12 hours, depending on how many stops you make. The flat rice fields of Arkansas finally give way to the hills leading into the Ozark Mountains, and it is beautiful.
If you can possibly go, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Here's the website for booking your tickets. You will notice that the JESUS show runs for several more months, then the Miracle of Christmas will be presented. Next year's show is ESTHER, and I know it will be wonderful, too.
The experience last week did two important things for me. 1) It reaffirmed my faith in the validity of the Bible, and 2) It enticed me to read through the Gospels again.
I remember singing the hymn written by Fanny Crosby as I was growing up -- "Tell Me the Story of Jesus." Perhaps you sang it, too.
1 Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word; tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard. Tell how the angels, in chorus, sang as they welcomed His birth, "Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings to earth."
Refrain: Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word; tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard.
3 Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
writhing in anguish and pain;
tell of the grave where they laid Him,
tell how He liveth again.
Love in that story so tender,
clearer than ever I see:
stay, let me weep while you whisper,
love paid the ransom for me. [Refrain]
**Photos were shared with me by Sight & Sound Theatres