Discipleship: It’s about relationship

Last night I had the opportunity for the first time to see the Passion Play. Aside from the positive message presented in the play, what struck me most about the performance was the number of local actors involved and the ramifications that such a number of Christians equipped to share Christ’s message could have on the local region.

Leading off the main performance was a skit performed by the youth from Emmanuel Baptist Church. This powerful performance almost out-shined the Passion Play itself in that the message of the Passion Play was predictable and known by anyone who’s read the gospel accounts and knows the story of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. In a sense, the timing and example of the skit’s message is much like what we read in Isaiah 40 and in Matthew 3, where prior to the appearance of Christ on the scene, someone had to first come along and advertise, if you will, the coming of God.

Students from Emmanuel Baptist's youth group perform a moving skit during Easter worship services. They performed this skit prior to the start of the Passion Play's week-long run in Farmington. © Todd Fitchette

The skit takes the audience from the creation account to the aftermath of sin and the rejection of God by man. We see in it how life and peer pressure can cloud one’s view and conceal God from view, but how God is nevertheless right there, waiting for us to run to Him and accept His protection.

Hence the reason for the death of Christ and his ultimate resurrection. It’s through the bodily resurrection of Christ and His ascension into Heaven that we’re able to grasp a better picture of what the youth shared in their short performance.

Ultimately, each of us who follows Christ has the awesome responsibility and privilege to help those around us find a true relationship with God. For some of us that desire to point the way to Christ, as John the Baptist did, is stronger as it relates to youth and helping them find their own relationship with God, or to see marriages healed and walking in light of God’s original design and intent. Wherever your desire to see God heal lives through a relationship with Him, get involved. It’s not God’s intent that we simply become sponges for the sake of learning about God, but that we, like Christ’s disciples, become followers with the ultimate goal of creating more advocates for Christ, who then perpetuate the process to do as Jesus commanded: “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commandments I have given you.”

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