By Chris Garner (Age 12)
On Thursday the 3rd at 6:30, a small group from church boarded a mini bus to see “what’s so amazing about grace?” Laden with blankets and coats we soon arrived at Buckfast Abbey and were promptly shown to our seats. The setting could not have been more spectacular. We were in a small courtyard facing the Abbey that towered majestically above us and the beautiful lighting made it even more so.
As soon as the play started it was immediately apparent that the actors were very accomplished and stunningly portrayed Philip Yancey’s book with real passion and enthusiasm. The play was basically lots of different stories, using numerous medias and styles, about grace and “ungrace” (a word used to describe the absence of grace).
Now I can’t list all the different stories and what they were about but one of them was heartrending and really helped me understand how amazing grace and forgiveness was.
A Black Christian lady watched her son and her husband being killed in South Africa because of their colour and faith, but instead of wanting revenge when faced with the man who had committed the crimes she seemed to let him off the hook. She asked for three things first that her husband got a proper burial, second that she could hug the man who had poured petrol onto her husband and set him alight so that he could feel forgiveness and third that he would be the son she had lost and come and spend time with her every now and then.
I thought quite a lot about why would she would do that and I think that part of being a Christian is acting like Jesus is standing next to you. I think Jesus wanted us to make the first move and offer forgiveness. It seems morally wrong, but Jesus was doing something to bring heaven on earth- Jesus had the ultimate crime committed against him, but still forgave the people that tortured him. I think I learnt that grace isn’t always fair or deserved - it is like giving someone a Ferrari for an old banger.
I talked to my family about whether we would be able to forgive someone who really hurt us. I don’t know if I could and I think you need God to forgive the really big things
The play was good because it really struck a nerve with me and brought up many deep and important questions about my faith and what I believe. After watching the stories about God’s grace I had lots of questions!
Do you have to say sorry before God forgives you?
Why should I do good things?
Why does god forgive people who do really bad things the same as he does for those who are good all their lives?
After some meaty grilling I began to unearth the answers to these questions and contemplating what I’ve learnt, I realise that the questions that have been answered are crucial and before knowing them there was a significant hole in my faith. Overall I strongly recommend the play and even if you learn nothing, which I highly doubt, then it is still a phenomenal and outstanding play to watch!!!
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