Monday, December 22, 2008

A Different Kind of Holiday Show

Over the weekend, I attended a production of "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot". I thought it was one of the most moving and sensitive portraits of Christianity I've ever seen. That title was previously held by "The Last Temptation of Christ" (book and movie), but this moved me even more.

The play consists of a trial for Judas Iscariot held in Purgatory. There are witnesses arrayed for and against, and while Judas spends most of his the play in a semi-catatonic state, he remains central and vital to what is going on around him. The question before us is simple: Can we forgive Judas? Should Judas be forgiven at all?

Not surprisingly, I found that I could forgive him. But not because of my feelings about organized religion, but because I understood why he made that choice. I won't tell you the reason, because that may spoil the play for you and I do encourage you to see a production if you get the chance.

But for now, during this season of peace and reflection and forgiveness, I choose to think not of the Light of the World, but of the man who effectively snuffed it out. Sometimes cursing the darkness is the only choice you think you have.

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