The fourth dimension, an author and how the interaction can succeed- Part 3/3.
Updated: Apr 14
"4 There are diversities of gifts; but there is one Spirit. 5 And there are diversities of ministries: but there is one Lord. 6 And there are diversities of powers: but there is one God, which worketh all things in all." (1 Corinthians 12:4 ff)
"Now all these things worketh the same one Spirit, which divideth to every one his own according as he will." (1 Corinthians 12:11)
"Now the multitude of the faithful were of one heart and one soul: neither said any man of his goods that they were his, but all things were common unto them." (Acts 4:32)
"But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
My dear friends,
in the last article of this series, I told you about how our theater group "Cast Coach" literally broke it down, with kettledrums and trumpets.
Oh, we know that one, don't we?
How many hopeful community projects have failed because of quarrels, irreconcilable positions, interpersonal conflicts? How many times have there been foreign takeovers, sudden dominance of views that divided whole movements? Just now, currently, it can be seen again: Vineyard Anaheim, the mother church of the Vineyard movement, is distancing itself from Vineyard USA, splitting off and "doing its own thing." As if there weren't already enough division in the Christian body, enough soups of their own along the lines of Church of Christ, the true Church of Christ , the only true Church of Christ.
I sigh and drop my arms helplessly. As if.
As if Jesus was calling for more and more division and not for unity in the Spirit and consensus in Him.
We are not masters in cohesion, in mutual respect, and in esteem. We condemn rather than share our knowledge, we tend to judge with a measure that, if applied to us and our own weaknesses, would scare us to death! But in such matters, we have double standards - and it has never been otherwise. Whether Jesus, whether Paul, both dun the same - disagreement, "wanting to be the first" to take the place of honor - that is the huge topic of our human history.
But how can we succeed in performing the play as God intends?
Oh, I think, just as it would have worked to put the play on stage after all:
You know, when something gets so messed up because everyone just puts their own thing above everything else, when it's long been more about playing their own role instead of listening to the director, when their own interpretations are put above the director's, then at some point there has to be a big bang-it's inevitable.
We should have called an emergency meeting at that time.
We, as directors, should have given a clear direction and only allowed those to participate who were more committed to the idea and the piece than to their own "being well staged". We should also have asked the question of conscience:
"Do you want to "just play" to "make yourself feel good and important," or do you still care about the performance and the group itself? Are you willing to commit to the cause, or do you want to do something else entirely? Where do you stand? If you want to perform something other than what is the framework and objective here- then you are free to go. But it won't take place here. If you want to perform Goethe's Faust or Peer Gynt, then it's no longer Danton's Death. If you want to play improvisational theater, then you're not in a good place in the drama. But if you want to play, then give yourself wholeheartedly to the project: learn your role, help those who need guidance with your knowledge, play the relationships to each other in a way that fits the play. Always take a step back to see the big picture and ask yourself if your interpretation still fits. And above all, follow the stage directions and don't direct yourself. Because the director has the big picture and provides the interplay of community, language, drama, and setting. "
You can only perform a play if everyone accepts the limitations of their role, trusts the director's interpretation, and does their best to live up to it in their (individual) way. It is usually the case that the director has something in mind when assigning roles, right? He sees what the individual actor, who is only learning his role and the associated scenes and dialogues with other actors, does not see. Accordingly, the director must explain it well, create an overall picture that is coherent in itself and leads to a lot of "oh that's what it's meant to be" moments. The play comes alive not through the individual role, but through the relationships, dialogues, the nuances and the interplay between the actors. And through the fact that one understands the role that was tailored to one's body: You have to embody it, not learn it by heart. You have to fill it with life, make it your own and lose yourself in it.
Being part of a group is not easy.
A one man show is easier because you write your own rules there. You are director and actor at the same time, you have all the strings in your hand and absolute control over success or failure. Interaction, relationships-they require tact, personal maturity, the ability to stand back sometimes.
We as Christians-are not in control.
No, as part of the story that God is writing with us, we are assigned our role, we are placed in situations and are not allowed to fall out of the role. We are given the gift that the Holy Spirit in His authority deems right and perfect for us, we are assigned our position- but we do not play the whole play by ourselves, do not hold all the gifts.
Jesus alone did that.
But asking and asking for wisdom, for knowledge, for guidance- these gifts are open to all at all times. Because they are necessary for us to play right.
Something else is necessary when something has gone so against the wall that everyone is hurt and sad. It's that which becomes so unpopular that it's enough to make you cry, because it's the central message of Christianity.Tracy Chapman summed it up this way in "Baby can I hold you":
"Sorry is all you can't say. Years gone by and still words don't come easily, like sorry, like sorry. Forgive me is all that you can't say- years gone by and still words don't come easily, like forgive me, forgive me. I love you is all that you can't say, years gone by and still words don't come easily, like I love you, I love you." ("Baby, Can I Hold You" Tracy Chapman)
We all mess up.
We all, when we realize we've messed up, been victims of our own weaknesses, or otherwise caught and convicted, get really nasty and defensive. We then prefer to roll over or "shut down"-"harden our hearts," as the Bible calls it. It is easier, because the former is an admission of one's weakness. But as Paul put it:
"Therefore I will boast most gladly of my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell with me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Anyone who has ever experienced someone apologizing, not just saying it, but from the heart, "I wronged you, I'm sorry. I was wrong. I didn't see you. I want to change that" ,
knows the healing liberation of such a sincere and heartfelt apology. How restorative it is. We automatically respond in kindness, in love. Or do we not?
I now close this series with three questions:
1.) Do you understand your role in the epic that God is writing? Do you know the director?
2nd) Do you follow the director or do you want to direct?
3rd) Do you know the script? Or do you listen to the interpretation of the ensemble?
You know, if you get lost, there's nothing wrong with that. Not unforgivable. But it would be good to tell the director. To tell God. And to do it differently in the future. It would be good to apologize to those whom you have dragged along without meaning to. And just once to wipe over the past with a sponge, to start anew.
With them- and with God.
Because let's face it:
There's nothing more beautiful than being part of a performance that plays together perfectly. In which everyone knows, loves and fulfills their role, and dialogues come across naturally and genuinely. That contains suspense, twists and drama, love, joy and hope.
A performance that, at the end, makes everyone, from the actors to the audience, jump up from their seats in a standing ovation and honors the director with rapturous applause amid cheers. When he steps out from behind the curtain and takes the role he deserves.
And nothing, nothing will replace the feeling of being told by him:
"Well done. Really well done. I'm thrilled. Come on, now let's go eat and celebrate."
"But you, what do you judge your brother? Or you, what do you despise your brother? We will all be brought before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written (Isaiah 45:23): "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." (Romans 14:10 ff)
Sibylle/Daughter of Zion.
Weekly impulses and thoughts on this article can be found as always Wednesday, Friday and Sunday on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Sibyllezion and the corresponding Facebook groups.
In parallel, in the next few days, the women's section will begin with the article:
Becoming an Ezer k'enegdo- the pejorative image of women throughout the centuries and what "helper" really means.
I'm looking forward to it immensely.
Bible passages quoted from: Luther Bible 2017, www.bibleserver.com.
Photo: Wix Media.
Worship: "Sovereign over us" Shane & Shane.