In Western Sydney recently, The Mark Drama was performed at Toongabbie Anglican. Georgie Kidd shares what it was like to be involved in this production.
The Mark Drama had a profound impact on me when I saw it last year. I came to understand Jesus as not just a written ‘voice’ in the gospels, but a real, flesh-and-blood person of such humble, gentle and loving character – the kind of person I wanted to know more, even after being a Christian since the age of 6!
So when my Church, Toongabbie Anglican, said they were hosting a production, I was stoked to be given the opportunity to perform in a Mark Drama myself! Memorising Mark’s gospel wasn’t easy (in an instant world, long-term memory abilities are lacking) but it did find me daily reading God’s Word the way that it was originally meant to be read. Early Christians memorised the Bible and the gospel of Mark is actually structured for such a purpose!
Rehearsals were fun, exhausting, nerve-wracking and rushed! But I grew so close to the amazing people in my church! Across congregations and generations, we were all united around presenting the gospel to the audience in the best way possible. I was especially impacted by Paul, who played Jesus. I could tell that as Paul memorised Jesus’ words and actions in order to act them out, God was doing a transforming work in him to make him such a humble, gentle and servant-hearted friend to all.
Being a disciple helped me really understand the disciples as people. To know what it was like to be involved in Jesus’ ministry first-hand: the miracles, stepping out in faith, cowering in fear and being harshly (and deservedly) rebuked at times. It taught me what being a disciple really is – following Jesus in faith, taking Him at His Word and humbling yourself before him.
The Mark Drama is loads of fun. As a disciple, you set the scene with lots of biblical and topical jokes to help the audience feel at home in 1st Century Palestine. But Mark’s gospel is also deeply sombre. The audience – and the actors – are forced to really, really reflect on the crucifixion. We spend most of the drama figuring out who this Jesus guy is, and starting to really love him and realise how much he loves us… only to see him weeping in the garden and hung on a cross for our sins. As a Christian, I know that it was my sin that put him there. The darkness that filled the room as the echo of my screams of ‘crucify him!’ faded into silence… That was a moment when I truly reflected on how undeserving I am of this grace poured out on the cross.
After the drama, I received encouraging comments from young Catholic and non-Christian friends, as well as older Christian friends and family (including my grandpa who is mostly deaf!). They all loved experiencing the ‘realness’ of Jesus and the gospel in the Mark Drama. I have also had many opportunities since to use scenes/verses that I remember from Mark to encourage Christian brothers and sisters and to help non-Christian friends know who the person of Jesus is and what he offers to them – Praise God!