BEAUTY and the BEAST
Last night a bunch of us, adults and kids, went to see a British production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast here in Athens.
Adam Productions did a spectacular job bringing the story to the stage with vibrant music that resonated from a live orchestra and actors who possessed tremendous singing voices. The actors who played roles in the Beast's bewitched household were delightful in their house ware costumes--the talking teapot, candelabra, clock, and wardrobe, the dancing dishes and utensils. But I especially liked the stage sets. They were wonderfully creative in their design and function. For the climactic moment, when Belle's love broke the spell of the Beast's ugliness, fireworks exploded and the Beast spun head-over-heels (aided by an invisible wire) as he changed into a prince. Very impressive. We still can't figure out how he shed the Beast outfit.
The story of Beauty and the Beast endures because of its powerful message--themes that originated in the Bible. Belle fell in love with the Beast because she looked beyond his outward appearance into his heart, just as the Lord did when He passed over David's elder brothers and anointed the shepherd boy king of Israel.
The theme of a spell broken, a beast changed into a prince by the power of love reflects what happens when a sinner meets the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says once a sinner trusts Jesus Christ as his Savior, he becomes a child of God. And that's no fairy tale. No figure in history has impacted so many lives for good the way Jesus Christ has.
In Amazing Grace, the world's most beloved hymn, the ex-slave trader John Newton wrote about how the love of Jesus changed him. He said:
"Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see."
A religious zealot named Saul persecuted Christians until the day he met Jesus Christ and became the Apostle Paul. Know any other famous "beasts" changed by the love of Christ?