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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

God’s Live Production

Mesmerizing! 

Beauty and the Beast came to the Winspear Opera House in Dallas a few years back. What most impressed me about the musical was not the singing, though it was Broadway perfect. Nor was it the acting. Belle, the Beast, Cogsworth the clock, Lumière the candelabra … all superb performances. 

Instead, I was taken by the living set played by the stage crew. Seriously, either this Broadway version truly outshined other adaptations of this show, or the stage set totally did a musical number on me. Pun intended.

Why the stage set? Glad you asked.

This set had two sides; one was the Beast’s castle. When the scene switched to Belle’s village, this giant piece had to be turned 180 degrees. Here’s the amazing part. At least two stage crew members were painted gray, the color of the castle, then clothed and positioned as stone gargoyles built-in to the castle. Their role required them to stand, squat, or hunch in complete stillness throughout the scene. At the end, they would slowly turn in unison. Then, at a snail’s pace, they’d rotate the castle to face the back of the stage. They even walked stiffly, as you would imagine stone people “moving” with no rotating skeletal joints. 

These living gargoyles had no lines in the musical. Their job was to sit quietly and then move invisibly, stealing zero attention away from the actors. I wondered what percentage of the audience actually noticed how the set change happened.

Masterfully accomplished. 

Absolutely ingenious. 

But not original.

“You yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 2:5 HCSB.

Unlike the director for this musical, God does not require us to audition for roles in His masterpiece work. Instead, the Lord declares all believers His precious stones, and He personally chisels our character to His liking—sans gray makeup. And He alone knows how to fit together these unique stones that, to the human eye, appear to clash. But His finished product will be so magnificent and majestic and alive that He gives His masterpiece a great purpose and a royal status. 

This house of living stones will be so beautiful when finished that she, His church, will be counted worthy to be the one and only Bride suitable for the King.

Now imagine if those castle gargoyles decided they wanted to be the stars, and they began singing “Be Our Guest,” or they danced with Belle? I laugh as I picture this happening, but I’m thankful they never did. How difficult would it be for the director to get the show back in order after such a rogue stunt?

That would’ve ruined my audience experience. How blessed I was to see this production pulled off with perfection. Everybody stayed in character and sang at the conductor’s cue and recited lines from memory. Still, I secretly applauded the small, yet significant crew that played invisible parts to set the scene for the entire production.

How hard do we make it for our Master Builder as He pieces us together one stone at a time? How does the world-audience view our rogue arguing and slandering, treating one another like enemies instead of God’s beloved and holy children? 

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation…” Philippians 2:13-15 NIV.

Are you following the conductor’s cues?

Are you okay taking an invisible role?

Do we need to repent from rogue behavior?

Friend, you are God’s chosen, royal, and holy living stone.

Copyright © 06/18/2018 J.A. Marx, used with permission.

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