26th January 2022

Reading many parts of the Bible, we are listening to the sustained voice of one person – poet, prophet, historian, or letter-writer. Other passages, though, reflect times when there is conversation between a number of people – dialogue, exchange, swapping of ideas and differences of opinion.

The reading from John 11 last Sunday morning was such, the raising of Lazarus. In the worship planning group, we decided to go for the Dramatised Bible’s re-telling of the story because it gave us opportunity to use five different voices, emphasising there were  different persons and personalities involved. Easier this way than one person trying to play all the parts; a simple attempt to recreate the drama of something which happened a couple of thousand years ago – to make it ‘live’, as if it were happening right now.

There are some who feel it almost an offence to deliver Scripture to the ears of others in the context of public worship in anything other than a flat, dead-pan, unemotional way. How that is meant to convey the liveliness, passion, frustration, grief, anger, longing, and heart-rending emotion of something like the death of a loved one, when his family thought their close friend ought to have been there to prevent him dying, is way beyond me. Even a group of professional actors in theatre or on screen would be hard-pushed to do the original events and characters justice.

Trying to convey a few words from the pages of scripture on a Sunday morning is a tiny example of what we are tasked to communicate – the dynamic of Christ!

David Bell