Sight & Sound Shows God’s Own Heart (10/19/22)

Posted by on Oct 19, 2022 in EventReport, FEATURED, Friends & Fellowship | 0 comments

A group of 51 PUMC’ers, family, and friends arrived in the parking lot and boarded a coach at 8AM.  For the next 1:45, we were treated to the sights of the fall foliage and rolling Amish farmland.  For most of us, it’s a treat to be able to look out of a vehicle’s side window instead of having to concentrate on the view through the windshield as we navigate through the traffic.  The trip was a break from the normal, and we were able to spend the day seeing things from new perspectives.

 

An Unexpected Heart….

Sight & Sound Theater in Lancaster, PA

Throughout the presentation, the sights and sounds kept reminding us that God’s perspective is different from ours.  We were constantly challenged to see things from God’s view.  The king wasn’t a big strong man.  In fact, the actor who played King David was noticeably shorter than the brothers and soldiers who surrounded him. 

David’s mother was played by a black woman, and his father was played by a white man.  Joab (David’s military commander) was a black man.  In our perspective of race, we may have expected David to be a big strong white guy with middle eastern toned skin and curly hair, and his friends and parents would have looked similar.  But from God’s perspective, things are different.  The actors who portrayed all of the characters challenged the prejudices that form most of our human perceptions. 

Israel wanted a king who would lead them to military victory.  Goliath was taunting them, and they wanted someone big and strong who would stand up to all of their “goliaths.”  David was just a kid.  He couldn’t even fit into the armor or carry a big sword.  He wasn’t what the people expected or wanted.

The biblical David was a shepherd and a musician.  He defended his flock, but he wasn’t a soldier.  Instead of carrying a sword, David played a harp, calmed king Saul’s rants, and wrote songs.  Many of the praise choruses that we sing in church today capture the words and heart of David.  The music throughout the presentation was based on David’s writings as recorded in the book of Psalms.  The tunes have been lost and replaced by modern compositions, but the meanings have been preserved and re-presented to our 21st century ears.  

Just as the disciples expected a Messiah who would defeat Rome, the Israelites of David’s time expected a soldier who would drive out their enemies.

 

A Struggling Heart…

David remained loyal to King Saul, but the king became jealous and wanted to kill David.  For much of his life, David was on the run.  As he ran from city to city and hid in caves, David assembled a rag-tag group of friends who became his defenders and eventual army.  But more than military training, David trained this group of men to commit themselves to God.  He taught them to trust God (“the battle is the LORD’s”).   

David remained loyal to Lord and to the Lord’s anointed.  But he was misunderstood and mis-treated.  King Saul chose to pursue David instead of defending David’s hometown (Bethlehem) from the attacking enemy.  As a result, all that David knew was destroyed or taken away. 

Life wasn’t fair to David, but he continued to trust God.  Many of the Psalms in today’s Bible capture the anguish of his mistreatment and of God’s apparent absence. One example is Psalm 22, which is motivated by David’s loneliness but also foreshadows Jesus’s crucifixion.  

 

A Forgiven Heart…

Even though this is an “Old Testament Story,” we were reminded that Jesus was present throughout.  Immediately after the intermission (the first intermission… more on that later…), the entire theater was surrounded by images of stars and lights in the heavens.  Amid the swirling lights, David was sitting on a rock playing his harp and singing of the majesty of God and thanking Him for His love and protection as our Good Shepherd.  At one point, the stars over his left shoulder disappeared and the image faded into an image of Jesus.  Our Good Shepherd, the King of Kings, was holding his shepherd’s crock and lovingly watching over the shoulder of the boy-shepherd who had become king.

But the crown that David wore began to weigh him down.  His heart remained steadfast, but his deeds faltered.  He became overwhelmed with the people’s needs and he simply wanted a break.  His constant duty to leave his family to fulfill his duty as a leader in battle took a toll on his energy.  During one attack, he told his military commander that he needed to sit this one out.  Surprised and reluctant, Joab led the victory as David remained in the palace.  A map of the conquered territories was projected in the background, and it gradually expanded until the whole of the land was claimed by the Hebrews.  As each victory was reported, David’s mind was elsewhere.  We know the story (if not, see 2 Samuel chapter 11)…  David was captured by the beauty of his neighbor bathing on her roof.  In a moment of weakness, he sent for her, they both got drunk, and Bathsheba ended up pregnant.  To protect himself and to keep his kingdom, he began to behave just as Saul did.  David sent for Bathsheba’s husband Uriah, and when his plan didn’t work out, he had Uriah killed and then married Bathsheba.  The shepherd stole someone else’s lamb.

Even a man after God’s own heart can make mistakes.   Saul’s heart caused him to dig in his heals and to fight for his innocence.  David’s heart moved him to tears and to beg for forgiveness.  He recorded his anguish in what we now know as Psalm 51.  He had to live with the results of his sin, but God restored His relationship with David.

Radical forgiveness is God’s perspective… way different from ours!

At the end of the show, David was on his deathbed, singing words similar to Psalm 32.   As the earthly king exalts the powerful forgiveness of our Good Shepherd, an image of the Lamb of God appears in the sky and is nailed to a cross.  The earthly king who tended to sheep is forgiven because of the sacrifice of our Heavenly Lamb.

This is not normal!

In the middle of the second act, the lights flickered and the video display behind the actors showed technical jargon instead of Biblical scenes.  The curtain closed, the house lights were brought up, and a Sight and Sound representative stood in front of the stage to report that “this is not normal!”  

The computers had to be “reset”, and we were “treated” to a second intermission before the show could resume.

Lesson:  Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, but do we trust God to take us through them???

 

What About Our Hearts???

David is described as a “man after God’s own heart.”  (see 1 Samuel 13:13-14) and Acts 13:16-22).  The word “after” can mean several things.  It can mean that something comes later than something else, or that it looks like something else.  David’s heart “looked like” God’s heart.  But it can also mean that somebody is perusing something.  They want to own it.  They’re “coming after” it. The writers of the show used this twist in meaning to demonstrate that God wants our heart.  God is “after” our heart.   God not only sees our heart, but he loves us so much that He wants us to give Him our whole hearts.  He wants us to love Him as our all in all, because He gave us His All in All!

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After the presentation, we boarded the bus and drove next door- to the Hershey Farms restaurant.  Seated at a couple of “family style” tables, we enjoyed a dinner of Amish cooking:  ham, chicken, coleslaw, fresh green beans, apple butter, and- of course- shoe fly pie!  After some free time wandering through the farm’s gift shops (and enjoying the flocks of ducks outside), we re-boarded the bus and headed home (while several used their phones to track the Phillies’ playoff game and kept us all updated on the score).

It was an enjoyable day.  It left us with great memories, but it also challenged us to look into our own hearts and to worship the One who is “after” them.

Plans are already being lined up for a return trip to Sight and Sound which will probably take place in the Spring of 2024.  For more about Sight and Sound, check out their website:  Sight and Sound  

For more about our trip to Sight and Sound, check out the post that announced the event…

Announcement Post

 

PUMC Organizes Bus Trip to See David at Sight and Sound (10/19/22)

King Saul had kind of gone off the tracks.  His power went to his head, and he was no longer in tune with God.  So God wanted to replace Saul with a “man after my own heart.”  So God chose a little boy.  A shepherd.  David went down as the greatest of the Israelite kings… until Jesus.  And Jesus is the “seed” who God promised to David.  Through Jesus, David’s throne will continue throughout eternity.

Who was this David?  Why did God pick him? 

David was far from perfect.  He was a warrior and he committed adultery.  He even had his mistress’ husband killed so he could marry her himself.  And yet, he asked for forgiveness and never lost sight of God. 

What can we learn from David’s life that can help us in our walk with God?

 

David: Sight and Sound

Sight and Sound is a special theater located in Lancaster County, PA.  It employs a huge cast, amazing special effects, and even live animals.  It’s a unique experience.

We have organized a bus trip to Sight and Sound for October 19, 2022.  It will be a morning to be inspired by the story of David, and then it will be an afternoon of fellowship as we enjoy a family style dinner at the nearby Hershey Farm Restaurant.

 

Details…

WHO:      Anyone!

WHAT:     Sight and Sound Theater and Hershey Farms Restaurant

WHEN:    Wednesday October 19, 2022

WHERE:  Sight and  Sound is located in Ronks, PA, and the Hershey Farm Restaurant is “next door.”  Click Here to see a Google Map.

HOW:  Depart and return from the church parking lot.  We have chartered a coach.

TIMES:  

  • Meet in parking lot to board coach:  8:00 AM (departure by 8:30 AM).
  • Sight and Sound performance:  11:00 AM
  • Hershey Farm Dinner:   2:00 PM
  • Depart Hershey Farms: 4:00 PM (arrive in Pitman ~5:30 PM)

COST:    $120 per person.  Price includes bus, show, and dinner.  Make checks payable to “Pitman United Methodist Church”, and write “Sight and Sound” in the memo line.  Checks can be placed in the offering plate or delivered to the church office.

MORE INFO:  Contact the Church Office, (or see Debbie Harrison or Gail Martin). 

Space is limited!  First come first served.  Make your registration ASAP..

 

What is “David?” Behind the Scenes Production…

Sight and Sound began producing “David” at the height of the pandemic, and work was done with limited staff.  But the pandemic waned, staff returned, and this awesome production came to fruition.  Check out this Sight and Sound video for the back story.

 


 

This isn’t the first time PUMC has visited Sight and Sound.  For some other trips, check out the below posts:

 

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Church isn’t just about Sunday morning.  Community and “Fellowship” bind us together and build us up.  Let’s grow together!  To see other “Friends and Fellowship” opportunities (like this Sight and Sound trip), click the below button:

Friends and Fellowship

 

 

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