karl_lembke (karl_lembke) wrote,

Robin and godspell

joansteward has been in rehearsal for her part in Godspell, and we got to talking about her character last week. She's playing the part of Robin, and mentioned she thought of that character as possibly the weakest. She was, after all, the first to leave her life and follow Jesus.

I'm inclined to disagree, and said so. The Gospels note that Peter was one of the first two disciples to pick up and follow Jesus – the book of John lists him as the first, and amplifies that Peter is so named because he is the rock on which Jesus will build his church.

Rocks are not known for being weak.

One thing the director of the play did was assign each of Jesus' followers one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Joan was assigned greed.

You know, that's a very interesting sin.

Greed is the desire to have all there is, in the belief that if you have all there is to have, you will be satisfied. When you learn to fill the void within through non-material things, you find you can say, "I have enough" to the material.

Robin's song, "Day by Day", is another reflection on the theme of not needing to have it all.

Robin's message is that one need not be like the Pharisees, meticulously observing every nuance and every detail of every law in order to be all-holy. All her song asks for is three simple things: to see Christ more clearly, to follow more nearly, and to love more dearly. And not perfectly or completely, just a little more. And not all at once, but over time. Day by day.

In a Judaica forum, I saw a discussion about how to affix the mezuzah to your doorframe. The mezuzah is a little box, often ornately decorated, which is fastened to the doorpost in line with the Biblical command to inscribe the words of the Torah on your doorposts.

The list of rules and strictures was long enough to bring a tear to the eye of any Pharisee. Any newbie, confronted with this list, would likely throw up his hands in despair and run off to a Catholic monastery – it's not nearly as much work.

Robin's message is that you don't have to have everything, you don't have to do everything, and you don't have to be everything. Just a little bit more will do, day by day.

Robin's song only three simple things: to see Christ more clearly, to follow him more nearly, and to love him more dearly. Not completely, just more than she has been. And not all at once, just day by day.

The message in Robin's song is that you don't have to have it all, or do it all, or be it all. A little bit, day by day, is enough.

No need to be greedy.

That's quite a rock on which to build a church.

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