The Homecoming Feast
A long time ago, in a church far away . . .
In the late 1980s and early 1990s at Brookwood Baptist Church, Bruce Edwards, our associate pastor, formed a drama team. Bruce passed away recently and I have been thinking about all the dramas he pulled off.
One year, he handed me a script. It was a copy of a copy of a Mimeograph of the script, “The Living Last Supper”. The author’s name was obscure and the date on the script was 1953. Bruce assured me the author was dead and it was okay to update and modernize the script. His plan was to use the script not only as performance for Maundy Thursday, but to utilize our deacons as the actors.
Deacons? He actually thought that deacons could pull this off? We would need twelve deacons and, of course, the part of Jesus Christ. But, true to Bruce’s persuasive personality, he found 12 deacons who agreed to be a part of the performance.
The following weeks were unbelievable! As deacons, we all pulled together. We had devotions, prayer times, rehearsals and a special dinner with our wives. And the night of the performance was lightning in a bottle! The response was incredible.
“The Deacon Led Living Last Supper” continued for a few years until Bruce left Brookwood and I took over as the drama leader. Brookwood had entered the 21st century and the Living Last Supper had lost some of its unique quality. But our pastor, Mark Sutton, wanted us to perform an updated version in our new campus.
There had been an idea bouncing around inside my head. The original script ends with Jesus’ betrayal. The disciples all asked the question, “Is it I?” And Jesus tells the disciples he will not eat with them again until they are reunited in heaven.
Aha! I had an idea. I could do a “sequel” to the script. In this followup, the stage would not open with the disciples sitting at the upper room table as in the famous painting of the Last Supper. Rather, the table would be empty but replete with food and drink. Jesus appears and silently awaits as one by one, the apostles appear in heaven in the order in which they died.
Each apostle would tell the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. They would then talk of the birth of the church and complete the story begun in the original script. They would each share the price they paid for following Christ.
But what to do with Judas’ seat? I could put the apostle chosen to take his place but what if we allowed someone to have the empty seat who most deserved it? And so, Paul arrives and takes the seat.
The “Living Last Supper: The Homecoming Feast” was a success and we only performed it once. I moved on from drama and posted my dramas here on this website under the “Flip Side” tab.
To my amazement, every year I get multiple requests for the scripts for both “The Living Last Supper” and “The Homecoming Feast”. Several years ago I was contacted by someone who pointed out the author was still alive! I pulled the original script and put a disclaimer on my site. I never want to be accused of plagiarism.
However, “The Homecoming Feast” is original and my script. But I do not charge for using it. If it can enlarge the Kingdom, then go for it, I tell any one requesting the script.
So, to my utter amazement, I received this email from Doug McCallum
Director of Senior Adult Ministries from St. Mark’s Methodist Church this past week:
Bruce: I can’t thank you enough. The production was a hit. A bases loaded bottom of the ninth homer over the fence. People were literally moved to tears. Jesus and the disciples received hugs, hand shakes and accolades for at least 30 minutes after the production out in the hallway from strangers. I have received e-mails, letters and personal notes on how great it was – even the Sr. Pastor came up to me and said “UNBELIEVABLE – WOW!.
Well Bruce – With Gods help I found 12 men who were perfect. Who had never acted before but were devout Christians and couldn’t say NO to me even though 5 wanted to I found out later. I hired a theater major to play Jesus who just happens to be a minister in another denomination. See pictures. He was unbelievable.
All I can tell you – It was the most incredible thing we have ever done in the Methodist Church. People are still raving about it weeks later.
So to you Sir. Thank you for allowing me and our crew to do your works. We did you proud and God said, “Well Done Good and Faithful Servants!
I was stunned and amazed at how God continues to work with those things we have forgotten or put aside. His Word will NEVER return to Him void! Well done, Doug and all of the cast and crew that made this possible. Perhaps, one day, we will appear at that feast in heaven and hear those words! I can only hope!
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