Tuesday, March 12, 2013

John Son of Thunder

Yesterday, Sasha and I saw a great performance of "Йоан Синът на Гърма" ("John Son of Thunder") at Theater Sofia.  It's the story of Jesus' close friend John.  It was very good.

From a technical aspect, the show was well put together.  The music was great, and the dancing was amazing.  There was significant artistic liberty taken in the story, but that didn't bother me as little is known about John's early life.  You have to make stuff up to write an interesting story about young John.  Besides, the world was represented as a train station, so it's not exactly like this was supposed to be a pure historical play.

There were many powerful songs and great moments in the play, but my favorite was at the end of the first act.  John and his friends had been waiting their whole lives for the Messiah to come and free them from Rome.  Additionally, John had been seeking the meaning of life since he was a boy.  John, his brother James, and friends Peter and Andrew were attending a synagogue service.  The synagogue leaders invite a man sitting in the back to come share a word from the scriptures.  The man stands up, comes forward, and reads, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  He then finished by saying, "Today, this scripture is fulfilled."

I know this story well.  The man reading was Jesus, and He had just announced that He was the Messiah.  But to see it from John's perspective, where this nobody stands up, reads a passage, then drops the bombshell that the prophecy is referring himself was powerful.  This was who John was waiting for and suddenly he was there.  What a powerful moment!

I really enjoyed the play.  It was well done and the message was a message of freedom from sin and death that can be found through the light of the world, Jesus.  I told Sasha afterward that if understanding that play was the only benefit I ever received from learning Bulgarian, it was worth it.

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