Have you ever gone on a God Hunt? A God Hunt begins when you teach yourself to look for God’s hand at work in the everyday occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
When David is asked (several times a year) why he likes the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario so much (this is our 36th consecutive year), he responds, “I guess what I really love is the collaborative aspect of it. Actors and musicians and dancers and directors and set designers and costumers and stagehands and the front office and the fundraisers and the audiences all work together create such exquisite beauty. I laugh. I cry. I critique. I clap. I am totally involved in this company of collaborators.”
Then he pauses, thinks a little and says, “I guess it is what I wish the church could be; a committed company of gifted people working together to create pictures of the beautiful Godhead for this hungry world.”
Admittedly, though we know it is far from a perfect place (watch the Canadian television series Slings and Arrows,which gently, and sometimes not so gently, satirizes the company from an insider’s point of view), it fills a longing in our souls for creative holy capacities where the church so often disappoints in not creating.
We always see six plays. This year because the production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline received such critical raves and because we wanted two of our grandchildren to see Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, we added these two plays to an already overcrowded schedule. Cymbeline was exquisite, a story of redemption and just rewards. Pirates was one of the best of the best.
Let me just reiterate the promotional descriptions from this season’s brochure:
- Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare: “Setting a standard for centuries to come, this romantic comedy bubbles with wit, wile and delicious wordplay.”
- 42nd Street by Warren/Dubin/Stewart and Bramble; produced on Broadway by David Merrick with choreography by Gower Champion: “Spectacular dance routines drive this jubilant celebration of the spirit-lifting power of musical theatre.”
- The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder: “Hilarity and Hijinks abound in this comedy with a heart of gold—a joyous farce with ‘just the right amount of adventure.’”
- Henry V by William Shakespeare: “A stirring and spectacular epic drama that poses profound questions about a leader’s relationship with his people.”
- You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown: “The dreams, hopes and fears of childhood, celebrated in a wise and timeless musical for audiences of all ages.”
- The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan: “Irresistible melodies, sparkling lyrics and delightful absurdities add up to a glorious confection of laughter and love.”
- Cymbeline by William Shakespeare: “As vividly intense as a dream, this eloquent and moving romance affirms the power of a faithful and forgiving heart.”
This all kind of makes you wish that you had been there, doesn’t it? (Come with us next year—we always travel up for the five days that include the Fourth of July holiday.) None of this exquisite theater or dramatic beauty could have happened without a collaborative community. David and I have often felt that pastors, in particular, should have studied drama. (Then they wouldn’t dare to bore their congregations with the exciting stories of creation, fall and redemption.) Certainly church staffs should sit through a Stratford season.
Maybe they would all grasp the idea that in order to create something beautiful enough to capture the world’s imagination, there must be a vibrant, intense collaborative community.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47.
Now that is some dramatic living theatre I would love to see.
I spy God!
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.