Monday, November 14, 2011

Visions of Christ....(NFTPL #60)


Both of my parents worked in the arts and theatre world. My mom triple majored in art, theatre, and dance in college (just realized where my over achiever education strain comes from) and my dad worked in radio, multimedia and the theatrical world. This being the case my brothers and I grew up surrounded with musical theatre...at least half of the vinyl collection in our house was in that vein. Ian and I systematically would dance around the house to the opening of Jesus Christ Superstar and Switch on the Classics.

Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell are two of the defining musicals for my childhood, along with Company and Westside Story. In fact over the course of my childhood my mother directed and choreographed at least two productions of Godspell. These artistic expressions also have had an impact on how I view God and faith, I think in part they are responsible for my broad view of theology and artistic interpretations...in my conservative artistic household both of these were acceptable. Looking back it feels like such an oddity that they were so embraced because so many other things were not..."The Last Temptation of Christ" for example. Yet for whatever reason the musicals passed mustard and I soaked them up...especially the conflicts of the Mary Magdalene characters. In each musical the women have key transitional songs, "I don't know how to love him" and "Where are you going?" and it was these two songs which I kept coming back to. Not so much as an in love with Jesus because honestly that idea still for me is a bit skivey (a bit too much of the Jesus is my boyfriend mentality), but rather as the means for expressing my desire to be wanted and wanting another's love and all that come with that.

I also think that these two musical visions of Christ are what opened my eyes and heart to portrayals like "Jesus of Montreal", "Last Temptation of Christ", or even the Harry Potter series...the humanness of Christ became more evident to me through encountering these at a young age. I needed that a human God (Christ) rather than the all knowing all powerful dominating God which ran through my childhood. 

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