LTC ’09: Rogers, AR

Our congregation has a long history of involvement in LTC, Leadership Training for Christ. A program for students in grades 3rd-1th, to learn to use different gifts and abilities in the context of church leadership. Well, Easter weekend is our annual trek to Rogers, AR (We used to go to Tulsa, but the convention site moved), so Friday at 8:15 we will roll out of our parking lot some 73 strong and then the craziness begins.

I have been our congregation’s LTC coordinator in addition to being the full time youth minister. Those two years were among the toughest of my tenure here at CTCOC. I have been blessed with the desire of a willing couple to take the reigns and be our coordinator. Thank you Reed’s!

So, as one who is no longer our coordinator I am still intimately involved. This year is my second year coaching the MS and HS dramas. Below is our HS drama:

Through Their Eyes: Life-Light-Word

Setting: Meet a couple of characters in the Gospel of John who were forever changed by the encounter(s) with Jesus. He is to them, life, light and word!

Nicodemus: I was at one time, one of Israel’s teachers. I was respected and devoted to our religion. I was curious to learn more about this Jesus and his teachings. I had to go under the cover of night, for fear of my brothers and their harsh judgments of Jesus. I wanted to meet him, to learn more about him. Instead he taught me of my need to be reborn from above. Now, mind you, know the Scriptures backward and forward, and nowhere does God indicated that one is to reenter his mother’s womb a second time. I had Jesus there. So, I thought. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. (John 3:6), and then I’ll never forget these words, “16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. He is light, life and word.

Adulterous Woman: I still don’t like big crowds. But, I guess this one is a little different than the one I was thrown into the day I first met the love of my life. You see, I have had a rough past. I wasn’t exactly Ms. Jerusalem, if you catch my drift! Anyway, I was caught in the act, and was terrified for the law demanded that I be stoned. Well, there he was standing on the other side of this angry mob. He bent down and began writing in the dirt. Angry words and accusations coming from the mob. Jesus stood up and spoke, “he has not sinned can throw the first stone.” I waited for the pain. One by one I heard the rocks drop, but they weren’t coming at me. Jesus stood up again, and asked me if any one condemned me. I told him no, and he said, “neither do I condemn you. Go and leave your life of sin.” I was awestruck. He was the first man to love me, not for my flesh, but for my heart. He is Light, my life and word!

Martha: My brother, he was so sick, and I was afraid he wasn’t going to make it. He didn’t after all. We called for Jesus, but he was so long in coming. I was so upset. I believed if Jesus was here, he could some how keep Lazarus from dying. Jesus finally did come, and he reassured me that even death was not the final word. He said, he was the resurrection and the life. We showed him where the tomb was, and he wept. I will never forget what happened next. He asked that the stone sealing the tomb be removed, and he called out my brother. Out he came! Grave clothes and all. Jesus is Light, Life and Word!

Guard/Malchus: I was there in the Garden the night Jesus was arrested. Two things stand out that night. The first one, when the detachment of soldiers and us Jews came to arrest Jesus it was dark so naturally we were carrying torches, he came forward and used God’s name, all of us fell to our knees. Could this be? Could this be YAHWEH? I was terrified. What were doing? Then, one of this man’s followers, drew a sword and lunged at us. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The next thing I remember I was lying in the grove, with my hands over my head, blood seeping through my fingers. My ear was missing. Another couple of inches lower and I would have been a goner. Jesus scolded his disciple Peter, and bent down and touched me. Me, one of the guards come to arrest him. He took time out for me to heal me. I still can’t believe it. He is my Light, my Life and Word!

Pilate: A king? Really?! He had no kingly exterior. No, he was brought me to chained and charged with violating Jewish religious law. I didn’t want there to be a Jewish uprising, so I thought I could appease the religious leaders. I couldn’t find any basis to charge him. I tried to let him go, but instead of releasing Jesus, they crowds asked for Barabbas a real criminal. Barabbas was an insurrectionist, and Jesus well, he was innocent. Jesus spoke with such authority and even claimed that his kingdom wasn’t from this world. I had Jesus flogged, again to appease the Jews. I was shocked that they demanded that he be crucified. My obligation is to Rome, and to keep the peace. I can’t have an uprising on my hands, so I washed my hands of this man. What have I done?

Mary: I never guessed that anyone would ever believe my story. Who would believe the word of an unmarried, pregnant teenager? Exactly. But, this baby I carried wasn’t an ordinary baby. He was from God. Joseph didn’t hardly believe me either, but somehow he trusted my words. The baby came, and grew up and began to speak of His Father’s business. The day came that he left us to begin his ministry of healing and announcing the arrival of the kingdom of God. He healed the sick, restored the sight to the blind, raised the dead. He was no ordinary child. Sometimes, I can still see him hanging on the cross, in agony and yet somehow at peace. He knew his mission, God’s plan all along was to sacrifice the Lamb. My son really is the Light, Life and Word!

Victoria: (modern day) My life was a mess a couple of years ago. That is until I met Jesus. He has turned my life around. I was hanging out with the wrong crowd, going to the wrong places. I never would have guessed that Jesus would have showed up on the wrong side of the tracks. He met in my mess and I have never been the same. I follow him because He illuminated the darkness, and allowed me to leave it. I follow him because he has given me new life, and I have been given a second chance. I follow him because he is faithful and true, and his Word is perfect. Jesus, he is my everything!

About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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