Away for a Godspell


Photo: Wikipedia

Alas, alas, I won’t be able to blog much for the next several days because I will be involved in several showings of the 2012 remake of the musical production, Godspell, at a local high school.

I know the band director for this school and he had asked me if I would be willing to play guitar for the musical. To which I pondered, let’s see…be involved in a cool musical production where the gospel story is being told to contemporary music by students in a public high school setting? Yes! Count me in! 

If you’ve never heard of Godspell before, it’s a musical by Stephen Schwartz and a book by John-Michael Tebelak. It opened off Broadway on May 17, 1971, and has played in various touring companies and revivals many times since, including a 2011 revival which played on Broadway from October 13, 2011 to June 24, 2012.

The Godspell storyline is based on the Gospel of Matthew, with a series of parables and ending with the passion and resurrection. All of it spun to contemporary settings and contemporary music.  The 2012 rendition that I’m playing in is just the latest updated contemporary rendition of the original musical. It’s funny and very moving.

I would like to briefly mention my experience so far. I have to say that I have loved every minute of this! Especially, seeing these wonderful students begin to blossom in their roles.

What’s most amazing is that a lot of these students have never heard these parables before. They are reciting Jesus’ words, probably for the first time. And what I’m beginning to see is that it’s having its subtle yet profound effect. And how can it not! It’s a superbly creative rendering of the greatest story ever told! And, after all, we’re talking about Jesus–the Hope and Desire of nations! How can we not “love Him more dearly” when we finally get to know Him?

And I’m seeing them starting to get the gospel story they’re telling. A story about Jesus and His first followers, learning how to live in community, not one based in cold religion in steepled stained-glass buildings, but birthed in an environment of God’s unconditional love and life, right where people live out their everyday lives.

It’s about hearts being knit together in relationship…it’s about learning about the Father’s heart through the parables, it’s about the expectations, the hopes and dreams awakened…

The sad realization that the Friend they had grown to dearly love, who had awakened their hearts like never before, was going to be leaving them…

The horror of His betrayal and death…

Ending with the surprising exhilaration of new life and finding strength of purpose in the resurrection and their new mission.

What I’m seeing is, the students are going through all of these emotions and feeling a little of what it must’ve been like for the first disciples. The discussions after the rehearsals along these lines with the directors and the students about their roles have been awesome. They are learning about how Christians are supposed to be living, in relationship and community through His love. All taught in the context of performing this musical. I am so honored to be a part of this and, once again, completely amazed by God’s grace through it all. He is so good!

We will be performing this for the entire school this Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. (US – Central time), then will be doing several shows that are open to the community for the next two weeks. I would really appreciate your prayers for this event, not only for the cast and musicians, but that it would truly open these student’s hearts to want to know God’s love personally for themselves and, finally, that it does the same for our community. Thanks!

Here’s a video clip from 2012 Broadway production. You can also see video clips from the original 1973 movie on YouTube.

Prepare our public schools for the way of the Lord!

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 40 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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13 Responses to Away for a Godspell

  1. Kathleen says:

    Mel, Thanks for inviting me to participate in the Liebster Award. I appreciate the encouragement! I really enjoyed reading your answers to the questions and getting to know you a bit more. Blessings to you!

    • melwild says:

      Same here! I enjoyed reading your answers too. Thanks for participating. I think people need to hear what you have to say. 🙂
      Good stuff! Blessings.

      • Kathleen says:

        Sorry for attaching to this post before I even read it! Will be praying for this amazing opportunity to bring the Gospel to your community!

        • melwild says:

          No problem. Just got back from our last rehearsal. We had some technical issues with some of the singer’s mics, which is problematic since not only won’t the audience hear them, but we can’t hear them to accompany. But the students are doing great. Appreciate your prayers. 🙂

  2. Grew up with this musical….I know all the words for the songs! Love it! Will be waiting…on the willows there…to read your writing soon! Blessings.

    • melwild says:

      Yes, so did my wife. And she knows all the words too! I was aware of the musical when it came out, knew songs like “Day by Day,” but saw it (movie) for the first time just a few years ago. Now, after being totally absorbed in it, I love it! It really captures the heart of community and love in the body of Christ in a very simple way that people can relate to.

  3. Lisa says:

    What an incredibly cool opportunity! Light is light, no matter where it’s shining!

  4. Cindy Powell says:

    How very fun! I saw a version of the play many, many moons ago and I though I didn’t fully “get it” a the time, I know God used it to plant some significant seeds. Praying for His light and love to shine!

  5. What a fantastic opportunity to bring Jesus to folks in a fresh (to them) way. May the fruit from this endeavor be long-lasting and bountiful. Have fun!! 🙂


  6. Pingback: Godspelled | In My Father's House

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