8 May, 2021

Really Something!

by | 17 June, 2014 | 0 comments

Joe Boyd tells the story of Jesus at a one-man performance at Memorial Hall in Cincinnati.

Joe Boyd tells the story of Jesus at a one-man performance at Memorial Hall in Cincinnati.

By Mark A. Taylor

Joe Boyd says the Bible came alive to him when he was just 8 years old.

The Sunday school lesson of the day was about Jacob and Esau and how Esau, famished from a day in “the open country,” gave up his birthright for a bowl of Jacob”s stew (Genesis 25:29-34).

“Our teacher told us that story,” Boyd remembers, “and then she pulled out a thermos, unscrewed the cap, and poured each of us a serving of lentil stew in a paper cup.

“I”d never tasked lentil stew before, and it was good! It dawned on me that these were real people, with real appetites, who ate actual food. The Bible stories I”d been hearing all my life were more than stories. They actually happened.”

Boyd”s experience reminds me of a friend my mother had almost 50 years ago. “Have you read all those stories in the Bible?!” the woman asked my mom. “If all that really happened, that”s something!”

Something, indeed. But some of us have been in the church so long we”ve lost the wonder of that 8-year-old boy or the awe of my mother”s middle-aged friend. We take for granted the fact that the Israelites crossed the sea on dry ground, Daniel escaped the lions without a scratch, lepers were healed, the blind received their sight, or that Jesus, foreshadowing his own resurrection, brought Lazarus back from the dead.

Joe Boyd's reenactment of the Gospel of John showcased his storytelling skills.

Joe Boyd’s reenactment of the Gospel of John showcased his storytelling skills.

And we may forget that these stories would stagger many who don”t know them.

Joe Boyd, a preacher with credits as a professional actor, learned this again when he decided to tell the story of Jesus in a one-man performance at Memorial Hall in Cincinnati earlier this year. His reenactment of the Gospel of John not only showcased his storytelling skills, it also touched the imagination of more than 1,000 who saw it in two shows April 5. Jewish and Muslim friends told him they wanted to hear more stories. A Buddhist friend said now he understands Jesus as he hasn”t before.

The experience has launched Boyd”s Rebel Pilgrim Productions into a whole avenue of ministry the company wasn”t anticipating. Moving beyond its original vision of Christian-themed movies for a mass audience, RPP is planning a series of live shows in public venues to tell life-changing Bible stories to those who may not have heard them.

If the company succeeds with its initial fund-raising goal, four shows are planned, starting later this year. The vision is to take these Broadway-quality performances nationwide.

It seems to me we need more people like Joe Boyd and companies like Rebel Pilgrim Productions””creative entrepreneurs who have the drive and the skill to tell God”s story in new ways to new audiences.

Meanwhile, we need more creative Sunday school teachers like the one who first awakened Boyd”s imagination.

Inside or outside church walls, God”s power and presence in this world can touch us with wonder. And when that happens, it”s really “something!”

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles

Stories

By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

CCLF Concluding Strong First Year in Greater Cincinnati

In its first full year, the Christian Church Leadership Foundation has accomplished much to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people in the Greater Cincinnati area.

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.

CICM Responds to Unprecedented Surge of COVID-19 in India

People are flocking to Central India Christian Mission’s new hospital in the city of Damoh for treatment of COVID-19. CICM founding director Ajai Lall described the challenges CICM is facing as well as some tangible ways people might help.

Wheeler’s Retirement Plans from JU Include Grandchildren, ‘Dorkman’

David Wheeler, 69, is retiring this summer after 24 years as a professor at Johnson University—and 48 years of ministry overall—but he plans to continue his comedy portrayal of “Johnson historian Clyde Dorkman” for the school’s Senior Saints in the Smokies yearly gatherings.

May 9 | A Kingship of Disobedience

While Saul ruled Israel for 40 years and had many military successes, his reign was checkered with disobedience and neuroses.

Follow Us