There is a rather endearing sentiment when it comes to a high school play. I haven’t been to such a play, well, since my senior year and that was back in 1975-76. Sadly, I can’t even remember the play and I was in it! Honestly, I figured those were the sort of memories I’d never forget…and sadly, I’ve forgotten.
Nonetheless, recently Douglas and I decided to do something “out of the box.” So, we chose to support the “local art scene,” brave the cold and dark of night and attend the Johnsburg High School presentation of “Into the Woods.” We both love the play and Johnsburg is just up the road a piece.
The kids did a very nice job with a very difficult play. Stephen Sondheim is a genius and this play is wonderful. Sondheim takes several classic tales, blends and mixes them together with song and dance and weaves a delightful story. If you have seen it…see it again. If you’ve never seen it…make a point of renting the Broadway version (Bernadette Peters plays the Wicked Witch in this version) or catch a performance when it’s in the area. I believe you can catch some or most of the play via Netflix.
At various points in the play, the characters, in turn, share with the audience particularly pointed and rather provocative statements, comments and little nuggets of wisdom. This may well be my favorite part of the play…those little quips “hit home” and they continue to stay with me.
So, I wish to share with you today and for the next several weeks, which coincidentally coincides with the holy season of Lent, a few of those “one-liners.” Granted, some of these one-liners are “play-specific” and wouldn’t make much sense outside the play itself. However others have a keen connection with faith and life. If we peel back the surface and look deep within, we may well indeed find some rather wonderful, pleasantly sacred and divinely-inspired material that fits so well with Lent. Was this a deliberate ploy of Mr. Sondheim? Who knows. Regardless, we will take some “liberty” and assume “license” because with God, nothing trumps the Creator and all is fair with God and stage.
“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.”
Lent is ripe with opportunity. However, Lent is “limited,” in that this holy and sacred season is only 6 weeks long; a mere 40 days. Lent truly does not linger very long with us. Opportunity knocks but not too often. Lent comes and goes. Lent’s visit is hardly lengthy. We are gifted with this rather unique church season to better prepare ourselves to truly celebrate the great Paschal Feast of Easter. In order to be at “our best,” we have 40 days to prepare ourselves; to cleanse our heart and soul, to refresh and revive the spirit. Then, we are ready to celebrate, to rejoice and sing out in joy to the victorious Jesus who conquers sin and death, once for all. Let’s make sure we seize opportunity and make good use of this visitor’s time with us. Let us make sure, genuinely and sincerely we welcome this visitor, this Visiting Lent, and open ourselves to the experience and make good use of the gifts this seasonal visitor brings.