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A Unique, Fascinating Good Friday Drama at FUMC Boulder: 7 pm on 3/25
March 25, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Join us for a unique and fascinating Good Friday worship service on Friday, March 25, at 7:00 pm on our beautiful indoor labyrinth. Based in substantial part on an ancient early Christian document found recently in the sands of Egypt, our Good Friday drama and worship service sounds both very different and somewhat similar to the story of Jesus’s death in the Bible.
Designed by three visiting scholars and clergy, this meditative drama follows the basic story of the Gospel of John, but includes many recently discovered words of Jesus on the cross. Taken from the document called “The Thunder: Perfect Mind” found in Egypt, Jesus’s crying out often sounds like his words in John’s Gospel. But most astonishingly in the Good Friday drama, Jesus’s words in the Thunder document are spoken from the cross mainly in the female voice.
“I am the first and the last. I am she who is honored and she who is mocked…. Do not laugh at me in the lowest places. Do not throw me down among those slaughtered viciously…. I am she whose God is magnificent. I am he the one you thought about and you detested me…. I am she who shouts out and I am thrown to the ground,” cries the Jesus character, speaking directly from the newly discovered document.
Our Senior Pastor, Rev. Pat Bruns, says, “This new Good Friday drama is very exciting and meaningful because it is so deeply grounded in both the Bible itself and this surprising ancient text found in a jar in rural Egypt.”
The drama primarily has been written and is being produced by three biblical scholars hosted by the church in relationship to new church Bible study programs that feature the many recently discovered documents from the very earliest Christ movements of the first and second centuries. Rev. Hal Taussig is Professor of New Testament at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. Dr. Celene Lillie has recently finished her dissertation at Union on documents from the same jar in Egypt. Ms. Toni Reynolds has finished two graduate degrees at Union in the same field.
Some of the first scholarship on ‘The Thunder: Perfect Mind’ noticed how it had some important similar teachings as the Gospel of John, but that these teachings took mostly, but not completely, the female voice,” Lillie said. Lillie and Taussig are co-authors of the only full-length book in English on “The Thunder: Perfect Mind,” and are co-translators of this document from the ancient Coptic. Taussig is the editor of the popular book, A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts, and has previously been a theologian-in-residence at our church.
Lillie noted that the Good Friday drama features at least 400 words from the Thunder document and almost all of the Gospel of John’s story of Jesus on the cross. After the drama and 15 minutes of silent prayer and meditation, Lillie, Taussig, and Reynolds will lead a discussion on the play, the Thunder document, and the Gospel of John.
Absolutely everyone is welcome to attend.