At the end of the day, another musical season draws to a close. I’m honoured and privileged to have been part of EUCMS production of Godspell as Musical Director. I had the privilege of saying thanks to many people last weekend who have been integral to that, but I wanted to extend my thanks into the virtual world and use a few more words to do it.
Firstly, I am thankful to my great God and Saviour, Jesus. To many of my Christian friends it might seem bizarre that in a production such as Godspell you can see anything but Jesus, but I can tell you first hand that watching our cast – both those who were familiar with the stories and those that weren’t – that understanding the stories that Jesus told, and acting them with meaning and emotion is no meagre task.
Many of the productions of Godspell I looked at in the lead up to doing this show left a bitter taste in my mouth. I was feeling a severe disconnect when I compared the picture of Jesus and his disciples with the biblical accounts to the interpretation of the music. In several of these productions, Jesus was a delusional character who was adorable in the way your misguided, naive friend might be. In some he was sarcastic and unbelievable. In others he was misunderstood like Brian, the mistaken saviour from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian. To avoid this with the script and music, we were required to masterfully produce a work of drama and performance, and I am thrilled with the work we created.
Having the privilege of working with the cast and exploring the teachings of Jesus as contained in the gospel of Matthew and Luke each week was an absolute delight. Spiritually and personally I enjoyed getting reacquainted with parts of the bible that had become dull and routine to me . I have begun to see them with a fresh set of eyes. I enjoyed the challenge of synthesising my faith into my explanations of songs and deep doctrines that were expressed through the language and text of the songs and play. I benefited personally so much from this, and the constant exposure to the words of Jesus, and I honestly think it has enriched my faith and my love of him. If for nothing else, this makes Godspell worthwhile for me personally.
The creative team
I’ve learnt a lot about myself, my personality, and my skill. The production team and process for Godspell was very different to my last experience as Musical Director. Wendy and I shared a common creative vision, but initially we didn’t always share the same view or interpretation of scenes and key moments. Due to the quite different format of Godspell, in many cases I felt disconnected from the script (libretto) and not quite sure how the characters fit together. It was unclear to me who was playing what character and how the music served the narrative of the show.
I learnt, throughout the rehearsal season, to exercise humility on my own desires and expectations for the show, and to come to love and embrace Wendy’s vision for how the show would came together.
Those that know me well can understand how this is particularly challenging. This may come across as a negative comment – but in fact, it’s the opposite. Part of the role of a musical director within our society is to sit under the creative vision and direction of the Director. There are times when I definitely need to hold my own, or articulate my point of view clearly – but ultimately the music must serve the overall production, and not the other way around. To learn to be able to do this, even when it was challenging for me personally, is absolutely essential.
In case you were wondering, I love Wendy’s vision. She had a picture and a story for every moment of the show, and an amazing overview of how it all fit together. For a show like Godspell, this is amazing.
I’m particularly thankful to Wendy for her boundless patience with me through many arguments and indecisive moments. She continually demonstrated grace, humility and sensitivity towards me. Her naturally collaborative and creative approach to the show pulled together a brilliant production that the audiences loved and that will fuel many memories for them and our cast for many years to come.
Even though this is a challenging show, it was an absolute joy to collaborate with Clare and Wendy. They are so much fun to work with, and have such a rich vision of ideas and how things come together on stage. I learnt so much from them and really enjoyed being part of a team that was so passionate about pulling this show together.
If you didn’t know, Clare choreographed and staged almost all of the principal solo songs. I got to work really closely with her around how the music and dance would fit together. It was an absolute joy to throw ideas around. I’m so glad that she could tolerate my constant changing tempos, my re-interpretation of creative ideas, and even my occasional balter. The creative dance interpretation, even when I was thoroughly confused and thrown by how it would come together was just so good.
Clare’s enthusiasm was demonstrated through countless emails and Facebook messages, the occasional written note, and many quiet words around the edge of rehearsals. Her creativity was a constant inspiration for me and drove me to make sure that we could match her brilliant choreography musically and vocally.
In fact, I just need to dwell on this a bit longer. Our team was really a team of four. Even though this might be hard to see at times, Kath’s devotion behind the scenes was absolutely one of the key reasons I could enjoy the show, and why we got on stage so well prepared. But to say that Kath was just limited to “production logistics” would be an understatement. Kath contributed creatively and imaginatively, even from when we first sat down together to look at how this show worked as a single work.
Godspell is a hard show. It doesn’t make a lot of sense on first reading. You read the script and you are often confronted with phrases or sections that you simply sit there and say “WHAATTT???”. But from the very first time we sat down and team-read the show, I was hooked. The creative energy was amazing. The way that we could see the ideas and concepts we had been bouncing around for months coming together was just brilliant. The co-ordination that went into the use of the set, the props, and the milk crates(!) was just genius.
When there are so many moving elements, and so much energy being divested from the cast into the show, you can only pull it off with a strong direction and vision on all our fronts, and we really had that for this show.
The music team
Beyond the executive-production-team, I had an amazing musical team to work with. When I first decided I would love to be the MD for this show, I had in mind that I needed a competent assistant who I could work with to interpret the music of the show. I needed someone that possessed vocal skill, a passion for musical accuracy and that had a flare for dealing with the unpredictable.
Typically, when you rehearse a musical you have one or two cast members who are in almost every scene, but the majority of your principal and ensemble cast is split into at least two groups. This means that you can rehearse scenes concurrently. It also limits the stage time and helps to moderate the energy level of your principal cast. Godspell is not like this. Almost all of our principal cast was on-stage from the prologue right through to the end of the show. This means that there is a lot of music they need to learn. We also needed to teach our chorus and minor principals the music. For this show, it made the role of an assistant so much more necessary.
Steve was my first choice, and a choice I would make again in a heart beat. I had worked along side Steve when we did Narnia and he played the role of Mr Tumnus and also assisted me. But this show was a different beast.
The musical arrangement for this production of Godspell was hard. We were performing a modern rock-opera, in a way and a style that was very different to what many of our cast knew. It had a lot of a cappella which is a unique style of music. It had a lot of room for musical improvisation. The score features a lot of Jerry Lee Lewis rock piano, a bit of bosa-nova soul, mixed with a bit of swing, gospel, broadway, cabaret, and at least half a dozen more styles. It was going to be challenging. Aside from that, our 10 principals are on stage for pretty much all of the show.
Steve provided creative input, direction, teaching, patience and an extra pair of hands whenever I needed it. I’m so thankful for his assistance, patience and effort – particularly in directing the prologue. If you haven’t heard it before, the prologue is entirely a cappella. It changes rhythm, tempo, and key at least 5 times. It is really hard. Steve took the lead on this number and taught it to our minor principal cast. There were many times when we were worried we wouldn’t get it on stage – but his persistence, patience and dedication to making sure that it came together was unmatched. Even though I’m grateful for everything Steve did, I’m most grateful for his dedication to this very difficult number.
I was privileged to watch two shows during the performance season while Steve conducted. I’m thankful that I knew I could confidently hand the show to him and know that I could sit in the audience and enjoy the show. I’m looking forward to the day when I get to see you with your own show.
Shortly after Steve agreed to be my assistant, we were fortunate to have Jess agree to be our Vocal Coach. EUCMS doesn’t typically have someone in this role. But, as I’ve already mentioned, a show like this has a lot of singing – particularly for our principal cast. It’s in styles and voices that are foreign to many of our performers. We needed someone with the vocal skill, training and knowledge to help them perform at their best. Jess’ knowledge and expertise were absolutely essential. From vocal care through to performance training – so many of our cast benefited amazingly from everything she offered to our team.
For three of our principal cast, this was the first time they had a principal role. Jess’ training helped them calm their nerves, find their centre in their music, and learn it and perform with confidence. Jess helped them bring their character into their songs and develop the vocal timbre to match my vision for how each song would sound and fit in the production.
Often she would work one-on-one with our principals. As a result, I didn’t get to see how she did a lot of what she did, but I saw the results of it. I did also learn a lot about how the human voice works. I learnt more about how to shape it. I now know a lot more about how to care for it. There is such a wealth of knowledge contained in her head, and I’m so glad she chose to share it with us.
In the lead up to our rehearsal season we were struggling to find a rehearsal accompanist who would commit to the show season. Many of our usual accompanists were unavailable for various reasons during our rehearsal period or challenged by the style of the show. Sharon came to my rescue and whole-heartedly jumped into our rehearsal season supporting each of our rehearsals. I appreciated her creative input from the first time she, Steve, and I sat down to go through the score and how we would interpret the show musically.
Sharon had insight and clarity that was absolutely necessary to understanding the makeup of the show. Her dedication was unbelievable. Much of the score for this show was very challenging; and yet Sharon always gave 300% to each rehearsal. I know how much of her own time she gave to rehearsing and preparing for each week and our performances. She graciously dealt with changes and my random decisions to cut, repeat or reinterpret chunks of the music.
I’m also thankful for her brilliant performance on Keys 1 for our final weekend of shows. Making the jump from Keys 2 to Keys 1 is no easy task, and Sharon did it without fault. I can’t say enough how thankful I am for her support during this show.
When it came to arranging the show and pulling together our band I am indebted to Michael. If anyone has the opportunity to collaborate with him in the future – on anything – take it. Michael’s musical genius in interpreting the score, understanding the depth of the orchestration, and the musical base for the show was literally unmatched. I can’t say how privileged I felt to work with such amazing talent.
My joy is evident in so many moments. There was the time when I said something like, “Hey, I think we could use that riff from Downtown in this show” and he said something like “Oh… you mean like this.” There was the time we were looking for a drummer for one of the shows. We couldn’t find anyone, and as we were lamenting what to do, Michael said, “I could jump off Keys and play drums.” Michael prepared our rehearsal material for Alas For You (one of the more musically challenging numbers in the show) – developing five seperate versions for comment and feedback. Only one to ever see the light of the day. This level of passion and dedication for this show has made it more than a joy to collaborate with him.
He also programmed the keyboards for the show and drove so much of our rehearsals with his helpful suggestions of “what if we play it like this”. In so many ways, this show would not have come together musically without his tireless input and patience with me. Even though Michael wasn’t able to play for our full performance season his imprint is left on the hearts and minds of everyone who worked with him in this season.
I need to particularly also thank Nick for becoming part of our Godspell family, rehearsing with our cast and being an excellent musical support at just the right time in our rehearsal period. His musicality, humility and humour were a delight to work with each week. Nick’s personal encouragement to me, both socially and spiritually, has been one of my personal highlights for this show.
Taso, thank you for performing with us and sinking your teeth into Godspell. I’m thrilled you said yes – and it’s been a joy from that first performance at the primary school through to the final weekend of shows it was an absolute joy to play with you. I have loved watching you develop musically through the show and getting to know more of you as a performer.
Gilbert, thank you for your agreement to perform at that first performance even though you couldn’t join us for the show weekends. I hope you are enjoying Japan and are being blessed by your time over there. I’m disappointed we couldn’t have you join us for this season of shows, but I look forward to having the opportunity to perform with you again in the future.
Matt, you are amazing.Whether you are reading notes on a page, or playing from ear – I actually don’t care. You held a steady constant groove that just supported our whole show. Your godly example of service was a joy to see – whether it be in bumping in our orchestra, making speakon cables without being asked or just supporting and encouraging everyone. You are a talented performer, and it has been a real joy to serve with you.
Daniel, Kay, David, Brendan and Brody – we didn’t play the whole season together, but it was a joy to perform with each of you. Your musicality brought unique dimensions to each show, and I feel privileged to have been able to conduct you. And when we got into that groove – it was sic!
Our sound production
I’ve received many comments that this was one of the best sounding EUCMS shows that people had been too.
Before I had asked Steve to assist me, I began talking to Laura about helping with Godspell. I needed someone I knew I could trust to produce a vocal and ensemble sound-mix that would do justice to the level of complexity the show had. Laura has a level of musicality and skill that I am continuously envious of. She is passionate, dedicated, and outstanding at what she does. When she joined us in our final rehearsals she quickly adapted to a very complicated show and mix (I think we ran around 46 channels, 8 effects buses and 9 mix groups), a substantially modified script, and took everything in her stride.
I can’t say enough how thankful I am of what she gives to each show I work with her on. Her passion for theatre, candid humour and honesty means that she is an absolute joy to work with. Each time she gives me exactly what I want, and more besides. I can’t wait until the next time we get to work together again. This show wouldn’t have been the same without her.
Beyond Laura’s work, a large part of our audio production was due to the high quality of equipment we were able to source, very much below market price from a number of very generous individuals and orgnaisations.
Our fantastic Front of House fly speakers, front fill, amps, antenna distribution system, and foldback system was provided by Tim Kuschel from GuzBox Design + Audio. Tim’s willingness to donate so much equipment for our show run from very early on was such a blessing. His knowledge when it comes to system design, wireless spectrum management and acoustic behaviour have been an amazing blessing to me and our show.
David Cox and James Kirsop supplied the amazing Yamaha QL5 for the show, IEM systems for our band and cast, our handheld audio units, and some of our headset microphones. James’ engineering support and preparation meant the show production could be seamless, and I’m grateful for their substantial generosity in terms of time and equipment.
As always, I’m grateful to the wonderful Neale and Carolyn at Entertainment Installations who provided our Shure wireless systems, hardware, DIs and more. Their generosity, enthusiasm, and support over so many years is something I value immensely. Honesty and integrity in the production industry is hard to find at the best of times, and these guys have it in droves.
I remain indebted to Declan Wood from High Voltage Productions for giving his time and energy to help with our Front of House speaker hang and rigging requirements. Your gracious enthusiasm is a pleasure to work with.
Our lighting director, Wayne, also provided much of the atmospheric effects for the show and recorded the opening Voice Over. His enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment extend beyond his ability to make our set and cast look brilliant. It is always a privilege to work with his experience and talent.
We are also indebted to Michael for loaning his keyboard and electric kit to our show, and even allowing one of our drummers to practice outside of our performances. Thank you again for your generosity.
Each of my cast members deserves their own essay in praise of their work in preparing for the show. I doubt that I will be able to actually do this; but I know that each one of them gave so much of their time, and selves to preparing for this production.
To be honest, I was nervous about working with such a talented cast. Whilst I know that I am good at what I do, I knew that I was working with such an amazing pool of talent. Many of the cast have worked as musical directors or directors before. Many of the cast are accomplished musicians and performers in many spheres. This meant that it was intimidating to be faced with the challenge of directing them, but I’m thankful for the way that each of them worked with me and embraced my musical vision for the show.
My first congratulations must go to Sam. What an amazing job he did in the role of Jesus. His performance was filled with joy and affection. My personal highlight was the matinee performance I had the joy of watching from the audience. On stage right there was a group of about 10 children sitting in the front row. He conveyed love, passion, enthusiasm and energy at every moment. His performance exuded warmth and character that reflected the love I, and so many others, see in the person of Jesus. He had these children hooked on his every word. I loved working with Sam’s beautiful voice. It cuts through a crowd with presence and style. It warms my heart and brings anguish to my soul – each in its own season and time. His musicality was present at every rehearsal, and his willingness to teach and encourage all of our principal cast was a privilege to work with. I’m so grateful we got to see him in this role.
Anthony’s performance as Judas and John the Baptist was a brilliant work of theatre. I love the passion he brought to the character. The way he synthesised the role and made sense of it in the context of the narrative of Godspell is something that I have rarely seen done well. Beyond that, I am overwhelmed with the dedication he brought to every rehearsal. He demonstrated continued leadership to the rest of the cast in your preparation. His performance shone in so many moments and ways. I will forever love his opening Prepare Ye the Way, and the anguish in his face when he betrayed Jesus to the pharisees. I laughed so hard each time Anthony and Sam performed together in All for the Best. Anthony, thank you for blessing us with your performance on stage.
This was Kathryn’s first time in a principle role. Her contrasting timidity and confidence were blended in her character so well; matching the role we wanted her to play. I loved her beautiful voice, and I’m so glad we got to see it shine in this show. Her character was so well put together. I loved how she managed to infect our show with her Disney passion and even convince us to “let it go.” (If that wasn’t her idea, I don’t care. She gets the credit.) I enjoyed watching her facial and body expression as she moved around the stage, and watching her character emerge throughout the show. I still regret that I didn’t get to sit through one show and just watch her perform. I feel like if I did there is so much more that I would have seen. I love that about her performance, and hope that I get to see it again soon.
I loved Chloe in the role of Maddy. I loved her witty one-liners throughout the show. I loved her patter in the unscripted moments. I loved her tenacity and boundless enthusiasm. I loved her child-like enthusiasm and boundless energy. I really dug the grove she hit in Learn Your Lessons Well, and her adaptability to the changes in choreography that I threw at her when we reset the orchestration for it. I valued her keen sense of musicality and her constant instance that a triplet really was a triplet and not some dotted quaver-quaver-dotted quaver pattern, or that the note in the tenor part was actually a G sharp. Every performance I sat trying to pick her out of my in-ear mix because I knew that there would be something new to enjoy. It was a blessing to work along side her, and I’m looking forward to the next time.
Emma was a privilege to work with. From when we first performed Bless the Lord at the primary school fete through to when the show came on stage, she continued to deliver her amazing vocal depth and dynamic nature in every show. That said, I don’t think I really appreciated her character until I saw it at work with all the other principals on stage. She was boundless in energy and enthusiasm, tenacious but at the same time loving and compassionate. From the first “playful” interaction with Jacob (Isaac) through to the final resurrection scene I was captivated by her performance. Outside of her work on stage, she provided so much support behind the scenes particularly in teaching the complex a cappella riffs and harmonies for so many of our cast members and was a tremendous support to me. Each week I looked forward to how she would engage and thrill our audiences with her brilliant performance. Thank you for giving your heart and soul to our show.
If one person had the opportunity to steal any scene, it was Isaac. I loved his constant enthusiasm and the way he just inhabited his character. He drove so much of the humour and comic timing throughout the show and pushed the improvisation of all of our principal cast to a performance level that I have not seen on the EUCMS stage in the last 10 years. Isaac’s performance of All Good Gifts matched his character so well – and this remains one of my favourite songs from the show. He has a beautiful tenor voice and it was an absolute joy to work with it as part of the principal cast. Just like Chloe, I knew that his vocal patter would deliver me new amusement every show and I am so looking forward to the next time I can see him on our stage.
Michael is one of my unsung heroes for the show. A late arrival to our principal cast, Michael worked hard to not only learn all of the material he missed but also stay on top of one of the most vocally demanding male solos in the show, in terms of pitch, style and energy. Michael took everything in his stride as the cool calm and collected “tradie” that he portrayed on stage. You wouldn’t know that this was Michael’s first role as a principal (or in fact… on stage) from any of his performance. He easily matched the rest of our principal ensemble with his characterisation and stage presence. Outside of role in our cast, Michael also consistently and continuously helped bump in our PA each week; both in rehearsal and performance season. He was also one of my main “transport” go-to-people and was always willing to help with whatever was needed. I hope that Michael decides to return to the stage very soon, and that we can work again together soon.
Suzanne was an absolute star. With one of the most complex character briefs (“be sexy, but not too sexy, oh and be an actress”) and a challenging vocal role, she remained cool, calm and collected at every moment. I loved her sass and panache, as well as her enthusiastic “overacted” characterisation. It fit so well on our stage. Suzanne was always dependable and encouraging to everyone she worked with; but still strove to make sure that our vocal performances were as good as they could be. I loved her passion, drive, musicality, and stage presence – which even extended to convincingly playing a note-munching pig. Thank you for being part of our cast team and gifting us with your performances each week.
This was the second time I had the opportunity to work with David, our youngest principal, and I must say it was a joy once again. He continued to amaze me with his immense capacity to perform and fill the stage. From his bewildered introduction to the group of disciples through to his enthusiastic and convincing hip-hop dance routines, David was a joy to watch. Vocally, I was amazed by the strength and passion he brought to We Beseech Thee. It’s a really hard song to sing and he nailed it each time. Beyond that, I’m really enjoying watching David develop as a performer, building stage confidence as he plays a range of different character roles. Seeing this maturity building through our regular EUCMS cast is something that I am really proud to be a part of. David, I hope that you keep building your love of performance and we get to see you again soon.
Rebecca was an absolute star. From the first time she started talking about her character she had me hooked. She knew her inside out, and I loved that I could see her come alive. And yet, I felt like each show I got to know her more. I’m still filled with wonder as to who she is, and what she would do – and was noticing whole new dimensions to who she was even in the last show we performed. I loved her vocal timbre in By My Side, and how she supported and drove the fantastic harmonies through this song. You wouldn’t know that this was Rebecca’s first role as a principal on stage, and she matched every one of our talented female principal cast in every way. Rebecca, I’m grateful for your loving service, passion and Christ-centred attitude which was ever present in everything she did. I can’t wait to see the next role you tackle.
Of course, it’s not all about the principal characters.
Our prologue minor principals – Rachel, Myfanwy, Guy, Caz, Juliet, Josh (supported by Chloe, Michael, Isaac and Emma) worked so hard. I’ve already said that the prologue is one of the hardest pieces of music in the show, and each one of these talented performers worked their collective backsides off to make sure their doots and dahs were in the correct spots, their key changes were right, and their harmonies held together. I was so passionate about performing the 2012 version of the Prologue, and what it added to context and story for the show. I’m so impressed with the work they did, on top of each performing outstanding roles through the rest of the show.
Cathy, Josh and Lynn did a fantastic job with the beautiful On The Willows. When I first heard the song I didn’t see how it was necessary to the plot of the show, and to be honest I didn’t really like it. But collectively these three made me love it. The beautiful harmonies were a real blessing to perform with each week, and provided such a beautiful dramatic counterpoint to such a pivotal moment of the show.
Beyond that, each of ensemble members were brilliant. There are so many fond moments I have of each of you in your various roles at different times. As I look reflect back on our cast, one week on, I can see joyous moments that are etched into my memory from each of you. It really has been a joy to partner with you musically in this show, and I thank you for the privilege of letting me lead you in this way.
I want to particularly thank Elaine for her personal support during this show season. This hasn’t been an easy few months personally, and Elaine was always keen to see how “I” was doing, and provide practical support to our family at times when we needed it most. Thank you for your patience with me, and supporting our whole team.
The rest of the crew, lighting and front of house team also are owed much thanks for their hard work, devotion and dedication. I don’t see half of what you do or what is involved in what you do to put on a show like this, but I know that without the hard work and effort of each of you it would not be possible.
Outside of the show
There are so many people outside of the show that made this possible.
My amazing team at Real World gave so much of their time both indirectly and directly. Daniel and David, thanks for transporting equipment all over the country for me. Elle, thanks for photocopying and printing whatever I asked. Wesley, thank you for shouldering the extra load while I left early to work on this project. I know it hasn’t been an easy few months, but you’ve taken this load like a saint. Mark, thank you for working extra on those Friday nights where I was otherwise occupied and allowing me to focus on what I need to. You guys are all fantastic, and it’s a privilege and a blessing to work with you.
My church family at Cherrybrook Presbyterian have been praying for and supporting this show for months. I’m thankful for the enthusiasm with which they have supported me while I’ve worked on this project, and freeing me to be able to work on it.
Many of you may not know that my amazing wife, Bess, is pregnant and due any day now. We found out that we were expecting our next child shortly (well… I think 3 days) after I said yes to this show. We feel very blessed that our child is healthy and that we will have the privilege of welcoming him or her into the world shortly. Despite this, Bess hasn’t had a very easy pregnancy with a host of medical complications along the way. Even despite the stress involved through this, she has been a continual rock for our family – looking after our two other beautiful children while I’ve run away to pursue this venture. She has given up so much of our family time over the last five months – and even while I’ve been writing these reflections over the last week.
Creatively, she has always been there to bounce ideas off or talk through difficult situations. Her boundless knowledge of stagecraft and performance have helped me think through so many otherwise difficult situations, and understand this craft better than I otherwise would have been able to.
Beyond that, she has been a pillar of support to me personally. There have been times when this show has been hard, things have busy at work, stress levels have been high – and in each case she has loved, cared, supported and prayed for me. I appreciate her commitment to me above all else, and am so thankful for the way in which she has been able to contribute to this show in perhaps one of the most important, but unseen ways. I can’t say thank you enough, and so I’m going to say it again. Thank you.
I’m thankful to the EUCMS executive for supporting Wendy in her choice for me to be MD again for this show. I hope that I get this opportunity to do it again.
I’m sure there are others that are deserving of thanks and praise, and unfortunately there are probably omissions even in this. If you were involved in this show, in any way, please know that you have my undying gratitude for what you did.
Godspell is over for now, but it will continue to live on in my heart. I’m grateful for what it has contributed to my life. I’m grateful for the new friendships that I have built and those that have matured. I’m grateful for the way it has brought me closer to Jesus. I’m grateful for the chances I’ve had to be part of people’s lives in ways that I never dreamed possible. I’m grateful for the audiences that were touched by our shows.
I long, now, more than ever, for the day when my Lord and Saviour returns. I pray that many hearts and lives will be changed as their hear His message of love and forgiveness – but I pray most of all that they might find salvation in Him. Jesus resurrection from the dead is what gives me hope for the future. As the New Testament writer, Paul, says:
13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
(1 Cor 15:13 – 19 NIV)