Saturday, April 11, 2009

Killing The Fatted Calf, Passion, And Using My Head

The Sacrifice, or Killing The Fatted Calf

My dad helps an elderly farmer out a lot. The man, Sam, doesn't get around very well, and raises around 14 at a time. Sam decided he was going to butcher 2 of his cows, and Dad worked off the cost of a half of one of them. We went over yesterday to cut it up and package it. That was quite the experience. The sound of the electric butcher saw going through a big piece of cow is something I will hear in my dreams. :-) My main job was to package the beef after it was cut up into steaks, roasts, etc. Mom and Dad bought a little machine that vacuum seals packages, so I ran that. It took us several hours, and we thought we were done. Wrong. Sam wanted our help with another half of a cow for someone else. On this one, I had to wrap meat in freezer paper and tape it, but got paid for those 4 hours of work, which is great - trying to save money. On Monday, if all goes as planned, I will get to help with the other cow and get paid for that too.

My friend Steven said we are really getting into Easter this year. Last week, we did the Passover service, and now we are sacrificing an animal. Dad said we killed the fatted calf. :-)

That's Using My Head!

I - or should I say - someone else - found a use for my head tonight that I never would have thought up. Mom, Dad, and I met my sister Vicki and her family plus my oldest nieces' friend in Austintown for the Passion Play there. I was sitting there waiting for it to start, when I got startled out of my seat. A blind guy, who also didn't seem to be quite all there - was entering the aisle behind me, and grabbed my head for something to keep his balance. I about jumped out of my skin, and it hurt! It was funny, but man, I sure wasn't expecting that.


For the longest time, I thought a Passion Play was some kind of romantic play with a lot of passion. By the time I finally went to see one, I had found out what one was, so I didn't walk in expecting to see a romance played out on stage. Though if you think of it, I may not have been too far off the mark, for the way Christ has pursued us could be viewed as the greatest romance ever.

Anyway, the play tonight was just awesome. They have a guy playing the part of John the Apostle Narrating between scenes. There were a couple of highlights for me:

The first: A woman sang Sandi Patty's awesome song, "In The Name of The Lord.". As she sang, the man playing Jesus healed people of various diseases on the stage. Men dressed as lepers, a couple with a dead daughter, and more. The song hit a musical interlude, and they played out the scene of the adulterous woman being brought to Jesus. What an awesome moment!

Highlight #2 was the Resurrection scene. Two men and one woman were singing the song "Arise My Love". At the most climatic moment in the song, the stone rolled away and the man playing Jesus came out. I felt like doing a standing ovation. I can't imagine what the disciples and others felt after spending the week-end with their hope and Savior dead, to find out that He was alive. If experiencing the pale shadow of it in a play makes us feel the way it does, they must have been ready to burst out of their skin.

Highlight #3. I found myself crying on this one - OK, I did a bit at other points in the play. They sang a song called "By The Way of The Cross". The first verse talks about the repentant thief on the cross coming to Heaven, and has him on stage singing his verse. Someone asked him how he came to be there, and he said he came by way of the Cross. The second verse is sung by the adulterous woman. The part of the song that really got me, and brought the tears, was the "bridge" of the song.

Most, if not all, of the many participants in the play came walking up at this point in the song, all of them wearing a gold crown. The bridge said "I see millions gathered 'round the throne, from every kindred and tongue. Those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. As they cast their crowns down at his feet......" In unison at this point, they all removed the crowns from their heads, tossed them at their feet and knelt down. It was a moment.

It has been a couple of years since I have been to a Passion Play, and man was it worth it. Doing something like that helps remind us of what it is all about, and opens the Easter story up in a new way.

By The Way of The Cross

Verse 1
Condemned to die on a cross
For crimes he had done
He was guilty, everyone could see
But his destiny was changed as
He looked at Christ and said,
"When Your Kingdom comes, remember me"

In Paradise that day he stood
Just like the Lord said he would
Surrounded by those who had gone before
One said, "Friend, how did you come?
What are the deeds you have done?"
With tears in his eyes, I can hear him reply,
"There are no merits to my name
No works that I can claim
He who brought me here told me to say"

I have come by the way of the Cross
I have come by the way of the Cross
It is nothing I have done
It's the suffering of God's Son
I have come by the way of the Cross

I have nothing to claim but my guilt and my shame
Hopelessly lost, I could not find my way
'Til His glorious light of love shown down on me
His mercy washed all my sin away
And what He did for me that day
Was a price I know He paid
By His grace I too can say...


I see millions gathered 'round the throne,

From every kindred and tongue
Those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
As they cast their crowns down at his feet
This will be their story
This will be their song

Chorus 2
We have come by the way of the Cross
We have come by the way of the Cross
It is nothing we have done
It's the suffering of God's Son
We have come by the way, come by the way
There is no other way, but the Cross


Kimmy said...

I am so amused on the "new use for you head"!

I also love what you previously thought a passion play was! That is a classic Mark thought;-)

We almost went to the play, but we ended up not making it;-( Sounds like it was amazing.

Happy Easter!

Kim M. said...

I laughed out loud about the guy using your head! ha!
I would love to go to a passion play... maybe soon.

Christa said...

Did he grab your hair???

Mark said...

No he did not grab my hair :-)