This year in UCCF-land is a gospel project year. It happens every 4 or 5 years, and means that UCCF (thanks to the generous gifts of kind supporters) produces a number of gospels in order that CU students across the country might give them out to their friends, with an offer to read it together.
This year the gospel is Luke. It’s been produced in a beautiful format (Moleskine-esque, complete with QR codes that take one to a website and videos), but there are various bits and pieces that have been produced and developed to go along with that; to help the students as they seek to answer their friends’ questions, or start conversations with them.
One of those things is a dramatic production, written and performed by Saltmine Theatre Company, called ‘3 Witnesses’.
It tells the story of Luke as he gathers evidence to write his ‘orderly account’ of the life of Jesus, interview 3 different witnesses (hence the title). The play is set in 1st Century Israel, from a political point of view, but with a 21st Century twist, so TV news reports play in the background to fill in the off-stage action, and the 3 Witnesses (Levi, the tax collector, of Luke 5; the paralysed man, also of Luke 5; and the Roman centurion, who oversaw Jesus’ crucifixion), become a loan-shark; a soldier, injured in an IED attack; and a police Chief Constable, head of the ‘Golgotha Task Force’ (a special forces group, known as ‘The Skulls’).
The whole play was very cleverly put together, and excellently produced and performed. The cast did an excellent job of presenting Christ, and the story of the gospel, in a way that was true, but disarming in the way that it challenged preconceived notions and familiar, old stories.
We’re praying that this will have been a great help to beginning some conversations amongst CU people and their friends, and that it will whet a few appetites for Newcastle CU Events week (coming up on Monday!).
In summary: great drama, great story.