“Follow the Yellow Brick Road....to Jesus?”
It is a joy, as it is every year, to watch Memorial Player’s productions come to life. From the very beginning of dance and music practice in the upstairs parish hall to the final run-throughs on stage before opening night. Over the years we have seen Annie find a family, we have dealt with race issues in america and class issues overseas, we’ve imagine fairy tale worlds where things aren’t what they seem, and found news ways to interpret stories from our own holy scriptures. So it is perhaps significant that this year we spend two weeks in O contemplating what it means to be ‘home’ and that we do this with a very racially and gender diverse cast.
Dorothy leaves Kansas the same way many of us encounter the world today - frustrated with the way things are, annoyed that change isn’t happening fast enough, but almost hopeless that things can get better. ‘It just is’ - whether we are dealing with difficult family, snake oil political and business leaders, or just plain old evil people. But in her travels through Oz - and confronting directly some of those same evils! She is able to find courage, heart, wisdom and most of all community to create a better world.
That is my hope for us at Memorial. That we may come here from different walks of life, different backgrounds and experiences, even different faith journeys; and that we may come really unsure if we can ever make a substantive difference in the world. But - that together as we grow our faith, explore what it means to follow Jesus, and come to believe and understand that resurrection was possible than and remains a possibility now — we can make a new ‘home’.
We are reminded in Galatians that we are ‘Children of the Promise.’ This promise of a New Jerusalem where we are no longer judged by the color of our skin, by where come from, by who we are or who we love, but instead we are recognized only and exclusively as Children of God, sharing the same courage, same heart, and same wisdom. So as you come to ‘The Wizard of Oz’ - I encourage you to think about what ‘Oz’ looks like for you? What is the kind of home you imagine when you close your eyes and imagine the people of God together in harmony? And how can you help Memorial embody that not just on Friday and Saturday nights for two weeks - but on Sunday Mornings for the rest of the year.