Monday, February 18, 2013

The Gospel in the Story: Brigadoon


 I have a background in theatre and entertainment. I've been working and teaching in the industry since I was a teenager.

       What God has made aware to me  in the past couple of years is how we flock to stories, novels, plays, movies that tell us allegory's of the gospel. The entertainment and story industry spends a lot of time focusing on telling truth. This is really close to my heart, and I will probably speak to it from time to time as I come across it.
      Sunday evening I attended a high school production of the musical, Brigadoon.

The story is this:
The main character Tommy, and his buddy Cliff are living successful, unfullfilled lives in New York. Tommy has come to Scotland to sort out his thoughts. The two men get lost in Scotland and come across this magical village that appears every 100 years. Every year it appears is one day in Brigadoon. The men visit the village and learn it's secrets. Inevitably Tommy falls in love with one of the women in the village and he finds for once in his life he feels "alive."

"Maybe the sun gave me the pow'r,
For I could swim Loch Lomond and be home in half an hour.
Maybe the air gave me the drive,
For I'm all aglow and alive."

Tommy has to make a decision; will he stay and leave his world behind him for love, or will he he leave the woman he has fallen in love with?

While the story isn't particularly well constructed, there is always a point in a well loved story that my heart begins to swell and I know that truth is being spoken. God is speaking through the story, just like He spoke through Jesus' parables.

The reason that the village is magical is because the priest in the village was worried about witches entering the village, and he wanted to protect his people from evil, so he asks God for a miracle. Knowing that he couldn't ask for such a miracle without giving something up, he figures that the greatest thing he can give up is his own life, so he leaves the village to experience the outside world, never to be seen by the villagers again.

Research on story says that the stories that are the most loved, and make the most amount of money are stories about the fully alive or the living dead: the redeemed or the lost, the redeemed walking the fine line of becoming lost, or the lost walking the fine of becoming redeemed. We are horrified while we watch someone choose death, and cheer when they choose life.

When Tommy chooses to go back to New York and leave Brigadoon behind, we are horrified for him. Our hearts sink. While we understand he would be giving up his whole life for love and living in the 18th century, we somehow instinctively know that it's worth it.

I don't want to ruin the end of the story for you. Gene Kelly I believe is in the movie version of it.

But I did want to leave you with a couple quotes to ponder the truth in the story.

"Why do you have to *lose* something, to find out what it *really* means? "

"You'll never find peace by hating, lad. It only shuts ye off more from the world."

"It's the hardest thing in the world to give everything. Though it's usually the only way to get everything."

"What happened in Brigadoon was a miracle, and most folks dinna believe in miracles. Miracles require faith, " 

"No, lad, he didna! No, a stranger could stay if he loved someone here... not Brigadoon itself, mind, but someone *in* Brigadoon... enough to be willing to give up everything to stay near that person... which is only right because after all, lad... if you love someone deeply enough, anything is possible. "

Can you see the truth of the Gospel already? 

Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
(Matthew 13:10-13 ESV)

Jesus taught us in stories. God is still speaking truth in parables. The story of the Gospel is all around us. We are in love with it and are drawn to it. What's your favorite play? Movie? Story? 

Check it out: Is it speaking the truth of the Gospel? Is it about the living dead or the fully living? 

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