Focusing on the life of Christ can always be a transforming experience, and recently the folks at Summit Northwest Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho, realized just how true this can be. Bruce Marchiano came to visit, and he shared how studying Jesus had deeply impacted him.
Marchiano is best known for playing the leading part in The Visual Bible: Matthew, which is a word-for-word depiction of the book of Matthew. As he was preparing and filming the movie, he spent several months of his life “being” Jesus, and it opened his eyes in new ways as to what that meant.
As part of their Creative Youth Summit, church members invited Marchiano to come for the weekend. This event was designed around two central ideas: to explore the artistic and creative side of worship and to provide training and experience for youth to get involved in being an active part of the worship at their church.
With Marchiano's background as a professional Hollywood actor, he was able to illustrate how the arts can connect us to spiritual matters in ways that theology and cognitive study aren’t able to. He shared how portraying Christ as He got down on His knees to heal filthy beggars gave him a completely new understanding of the depths of God’s love.
In the afternoon, the high school youth used workshops to prepare for music and drama features that were performed at an evening program. The day ended with an energetic concert by the local praise band Realize, led by Jared Anderson.
The weekend flowed smoothly, and Summit planners are hoping to make it an annual event that can be a resource for energizing and empowering youth to contribute in their home churches.