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Please sir, I want some more.

  • Posted on Jan 30, 2012

Please sir, I want some more. That’s the famous line from the musical Oliver! We’ll hear it six times over the next two weekends as Memorial Players opens the 2012 Memorial musical. The musical Oliver! speaks to social issues that have beset humankind from the very beginning—poverty, hunger, domestic abuse, exploitation of the poor. When Oliver delivers the famous line asking for just a bit more gruel for his dinner, we see urban orphans exploited by adult greed. We see scarcity of nurture and love as well as a scarcity of food. Jesus’ ministry was all about uncovering this underbelly of humanity that we’d rather not see, asking us to feed the hungry and clothe those in need. However, Jesus also saw beyond the very real material needs to another vital need of humanity, the need for a stabile, loving community. This is also what the musical Oliver illustrates—that however broken our families and communities are, we need them. Sometimes we settle for the brokenness of a relationship as opposed to our own health and well-being. The gospel of Jesus challenges us to bring change to the dis-health within ourselves, our relationship, our families and our communities and to commit to health and new life together.

But there is another side to the line Please sir, I want some more. For so many of us who are blessed with so much in our lives, this line digs into the American drivenness to acquiring possessions in the quest to find stabile, loving community. As Jesus tells us again and again, that will not work. In fact, he often asks us to give up our possessions in order to find new life. As we approach the Lenten season again, the Oliver tagline challenges us to remember that there is a fine line between caring for ones self and one’s family and community and acquiring for self, family and community at the exclusion and to the detriment of others.

The question for all of us is: Where are we in need–truly in need–and where do we need to stop acquiring and give of self to others? How can we simplify our material possessions and agendas? How can make we space for God, find God in one another and build a stabile, loving community? Maybe spending an evening and afternoon at the theatre may spark some inner epiphanies.

Please make plans to come to Oliver! Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm on Feb 3, 4, 10, and 11 and Sunday, February 5 and 12 at 3:00 pm. Please bring canned and dry goods to support the Samaritan Community as part of your free-will offering to the ministry of the Memorial musical.