Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star…

If you’ve ever listened to Handel’s Messiah, you know the emotional finale of the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Remember for a moment, the emotion and anticipation after more than an hour of intense musical experience, then recall the feeling as the choir and the orchestra feverishly crescendo to the peak of the rich and magnificent climax, but imagine instead of the echoing hallelujahs in the praise of the glorious redeemer, a little boy finger pecks on a miniature piano “twinkle, twinkle, little star…”

 

That would be fairly accurate description of my experience today as we watched the play J.B. The play progressed and built with deep and glorious truth, dead accurate in its observations of Satan’s view of God, man, goodness, and suffering; brilliantly insightful in its portrayal of man’s natural response to suffering and God’s sovereignty; profound in its exposing of the errors and emptiness of modern ideas of man’s responsibility, his place in history, and bad theology that faults God for evil; but after this thoughtful crescendo, it ended with something out of a Beetles’ inspired Disney movie: “All we need is love.” It was like a seven course meal, where with each course the anticipation of the final and most delightful dish grows, but when they remove the cover on the final course, there was a hunk of crusty, stale bread.

 

In a play attempting to answer and give hope to those who are enduring tragic suffering, the real tragedy is what it preaches, but I must cut myself off because I want to hear what the rest of you thought about the play.

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4 Comments

  1. I didn’t see J.B. (though I’m considering going on my own time) but it seems the sentiment expressed is relatively the same–that the play built and built and built, but the resolution was less than desirable. My question is this: should we throw out the whole play on the basis of one fault? Or(playing off of your metaphor) is it possible that the first six courses of the meal provide enough food for though that we are no longer famished (although perhaps not all the way full)?

    Do we discredit the good because of the bad?

  2. The conclusion is what matters in the story of Job. Did he bow in humble worship and reliance or did he rise with a new-found agnosticism? I think from Scripture, the answer is clear.

    I would liken the seventh course to rotten mayonnaise because it makes you want to throw up the other six courses…

  3. Well said. The play, regardless of the majority of truth, ended on a falsity. No matter how much truth resides in something, all one needs is a single lie, just one mistake, and like a poorly played game of jenga the whole tower of truth comes crashing down. The conclusion is the last thing the audience hears,it is what they leave the play with, it is the summary of the theme, the main truth. And if that last truth is revealed in fact to be a sham, then the whole play should be regarded as such. All that building, and for what? To end it on a mistake that ruins everything. Alas.

  4. Well said. I dig the jenga illustration…


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