Our son Lucas and I had a conversation the other day about our upcoming Nutcracker performances. His buddy will be sitting in the front row for one of the shows and I had a chat with him about what it means to "stay in character" and what it means to "break character."
I told him if he looks directly at his friend, he has broken character because in a show like this you are showing a story and inviting people to see it but not to be "in" it with you. When you look him in the eyes, you are no longer Fritze but you are Lucas.
We finished a Community Service event later that day and as we traveled home he said "I was nervous about breaking character, but I didn't look anyone in the eye so I didn't break character!"
Yesterday in church the Old Testament reading and the Gospel gave me the full body rush with happy goosebumps.
I finished the Bible Study Breaking Free not too long ago and the theme verse was Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
This set of verses is so extremely beautiful and powerful to me. But the Gospel just made me go, WOW
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“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.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
I imagined just putting myself in that scene and how I'd react. Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of that scroll reading that they had heard so many times before. He is so simple in how He says it and yet it is perfect.
One of the areas of my own personal frustration is wanting others to know His freedom and watching people struggle so severely and fight against what has become to me the most liberating truth.
Pride gets in the way of so much freedom. It is kind of an crazy oxy moron. The "I can do it myself" independence actually keeps you in captivity!
My prayer is that I don't go so overboard in my excitement that I actually inadvertently turn people off to what God has to offer!
But, the more time I spend getting to know God and reading and studying The Word, the more I want to tell people what they are missing! I pray that God would let the Holy Spirit guide.
Just like with our son Lucas who is inviting people to see the story he is a part of, I want to show people the story of love that God displays in the Bible, but in my case, I want to break character and invite them in! This is not a story that excludes anyone. If someone wants to get in the story, God has already cast them! Each person has to decide, though, whether they will be a standby or get out on stage and really embrace their role!