THE ACT OF LAZARUS’ BURIAL

BOND 293

PROLOGUE

CHORUS

Brothers and sisters; let us weep, today
Our good man is dead – what more can we say?
One minute, his eyes were full of life;
The next his breath and death were caught in strife.
What shall we say anymore than to weep
For this good soul, gone so soon, asleep?

ACT ONE, SCENE ONE

MARTHA

My brother! My brother!
If only you were stronger
To fight the clash of death, tooth for tooth, vengeful:
If only you had a means to stay alive, a miracle…
…it would have been to look at the eye(s) of death
and refuse to be lost in awe or out of breath.
In this I see, the end of all of us:
That we must all go – in peace or by force.
Yet, knowing this is not medicine enough
To suit the pain and edges of ache, so rough.
I dare say, all from my sobbing heart
That life is alive until the arrival of death’s dart

(To a by-stander)

Go, now, call again, the MASTER
Tell HIM, the summons are with love from Martha
Make HIM, perhaps, remember that my brother is in an eternal slumber
Let the KING of kings come mourn our loss forever…

(Exit Martha)

MARY

If all I can give to death is silence
Then I would do so, to mock itโ€™s eminence
To stick my tongue and laugh at its presence
For I have not much to lose after this death, in all sense
My grief paints, clearly, my portrait of frail
Humanity; yet I would refuse to grant death, a wail

(to another by-stander)

Go, call the MASTER, again
Tell HIM, sparingly, all about our pain
Tell HIM the one who HE loves is dead
Tell HIM that death has come as we feared

ACT ONE, SCENE TWO

(JESUS and the twelve on the road to Bethany)

JESUS

This sickness, I say, is not unto death
but for the glory of GOD, the giver of health
And that the SON of GOD may be glorified
In that through it, death is mortified
Shall we then go, faithful eleven and one
To bring down the glory of GOD; not mourn…
…the death of one, in whom I love
And have chosen for testimony, while I was above.

Thomas

But MASTER, this place is Bethany, not so?
And wouldn’t the Jews seek to stone you, no?

JESUS

Twelve hours are there in the day for man to walk
That he may not stumble on his feet against a rock
But night would come when he should walk not
Unless he shall fall; and to death, he shall rot
For even so it is in these
That a time is appointed for us, in bliss
To journey without fear that we may die
For light in us show forth the road we must pass by
It is they who have light in their souls
That can walk at night and fear not for their soles
Alas! My good 11 and 1, it seems that our friend
Has fallen asleep, in the end

PETER

If he be asleep, we must rejoice
Because it means, he shall be well with(out) choice

JESUS

No, you rock! I say he is asleep
I mean, as I say that he is dead, his sisters weep!
I hear their hearts bleed in shreds to GOD
My FATHER who hears their mourning-accord
We must go, I say, we must indeed hurry
Their faith is tarrying, lest the wait invites doubt quickly

(Exits JESUS AND THE 11 AND 1)

ACT ONE, SCENE THREE

(Martha before JESUS)

MARTHA

MASTER, my LORD, you came
Alas, it seems, a little too late
My brother is dead, his body is not the same
Torn in shreds by death’s cruel fate
But i know that GOD can hear your voice in petition
And what you shall ask, HE gives without reservation
Perhaps you shall say that my brother be rewarded
And sent to the bosom of Father Abraham, unhindered

JESUS

Martha do you believe in me
Do you believe beyond what you see?

MARTHA

My LORD I believe, a thousand times over.
That you are the CHRIST, the SON of JEHOVAH

JESUS

Then know this one thing I tell you today
Your brother Lazarus shall rise from where he lay

MARTHA

Oh yes! I believe that he shall live again
When the resurrection shall come, for the slain
I know that he shall walk to the freedom of life.
That rewards him greatly, i know he shall be alive
On the resurrection morning, so full of light
That blinds the very dim eyes of night.

JESUS

Believe me, Martha on this very matter
I am the very resurrection and life
I am the judge and life’s rewarder
He who believes in me, even unto death
Shall live above death as a wonder
And he who lives and believes in me
Shall not die but live, forever to be free…

MARTHA

Oh Lord, i agree, i truly believe
That you are the Messiah, who brings life to dead things.
And causes those who sleep to awake; to relieve
our faiths to see my brother alive, my soul gladly sings!

(Exits Martha to call Mary)

ACT ONE, SCENE FOUR

(Mary before JESUS)

MARY

I ran, wise teacher as fast as I could
To see you, and worship as only i should
If you had been here, before Lazo died
He would never had died, Nor the cave-tomb defiled

JESUS

Where have you kept him,
Take me there that i may see.

CHORUS

Brothers and sisters, behold your saviour weeps
To show you how much HE loved this one soul
To show you how enraged HE is when death leaps
In temporal triumph against us by woe
Fear not, for the anchor of life approaches
Whose hands have held eternal life in bunches
And wields the keys to freedom from death
For HE alone can burrow into this sorrow-filled depth

ACT ONE, SCENE FIVE

(At the tomb)

JESUS

Roll away the stone
Every Man and woman, hold your skin to their bone

MARTHA

But LORD, his body, by now would stink
Perhaps we may be right to count our losses, or what do you think?
It has been four days he died, communing with death
Asleep from us all, and hanging over the wall an already dried-out wreath

JESUS

Martha, did I not say if you believe
That at my word, your brother shall live?

CHORUS

Roll the stone!
Every human hold your skin to the bone
The saviour has spoken
Our hearts must remain open
This is a miracle, we shall herald
With faith, I presume, shout this testimony, aloud

(Stone is rolled away)

JESUS

Father, I thank you because you hear me
And you have heard me, in my plea
I know you always listen when i call
And this is a sign for belief to all
And just as this stone shall be rolled three days after mine
That the glory of life be solely thine
I say this that all would believe in you
That you sent me to wrought this miracle
of life and eternal life to the dead and desperately dead
That they would be a body and, i, the head
Lazarus!
Come forth!

(Lazarus emerges from the tomb)

CHORUS

Brothers and sisters
And as the stench stood still in our nostrils
Lazarus who we saw to be dead arose in liters
Of death, cut in pieces from its entrails
And I behold this very wonder
Written by the very hands of GOD, our FATHER

JESUS

set him loose
He Is free since death did lose

EPILOGUE

CHORUS

(alone at the tomb)

Brothers and sister, gather round
Lend me your ears, and hearts as I speak on this profound
and amazing tale
If I was not there, I would have doubted it: that pale
And dead Lazarus could be filled with such life
As never before. As I end this line with something that rhymes with “life”.

Brethren, we have a few things to learn thus
That GOD gives life as HE did on the cross
To call us back from death to eternal freedom in Christ
In that in GOD, there is no successful heist
That can take us away from the life we find in HIS deliverance
A statute for our inheritance.
Another lesson to learn, dear comrades, in belief:
Is that JESUS loves us more than we can love him and if
We are honest, more than we can love ourselves
HE is willing to come to our aid and HE delves
Into our challenges like they are HIS
So that, in the end, what we have is ease
And what HE gives us is peace
For JESUS feels what we feel
And is able to fill-up our openness
With grace for our weakness

Dearly beloved,
never doubt JESUS or put a limit to HIS prowess
Never belittle HIS sovereignty or cave-in limits for HIS powers
HE is all-knowing and all-limitless
It is in HIS eternal width that we cannot talk less
Of HIS life to redeem us.

Brothers, fear the Word of the LORD
When HE says HE can, then he can
Sisters Fear the power of HIS Word
When HE moves to do the humanly impossible, doubt not; for HE is more than
any limit posed-against him

In the matter of life and death
Be Mary not Martha
Believe and the dead shall live.

Finally audience,
In the conclusion of the matter
We know that all those who believe in JESUS and died, shall live
And GOD doesnโ€™t maintain silence
For those who trust in HIM as father
For those who follow JESUS while they live, they shall never die
In the plains of eternity – this is no lie

THE END

CUT-OUT SCENE

LAZARUS

Iโ€™m hungry, I need food
Or else I’ll die again…

Martha

You don’t threaten us!
We have JESUS, here, thus
You can die all you want
HE would bring you back, like HE did with the ten commandments’ we sometimes flaunt

THE FINAL END

3 thoughts on “THE ACT OF LAZARUS’ BURIAL

  1. that was partially the concept: an imitation of Conservative uptight rhyme-conscious theatre.

    Like

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