The curtain falls, demarcating the pause between Act One and Act Two. However, this is not just any pause. This is a pause long enough to allow you to grab a Diet Coke refill or some fresh snacks. A pause allowing you to empty your bladder or fill up on gossip with the fellow theatre-goers around you. A pause which creates conversations about the direction of the play or musical you are in the midst of watching. A pause which, from the outside, seems to be nothing more than an excuse to step outside for a bit of fresh air.
This is the intermission.
To the casual theatre aficionado the intermission is a mild inconvenience or a welcome respite from the world of staged performances. For all the audience member knows, behind stage all is calm during the intermission. A chance for the actors and actresses to breathe and rest up for their upcoming scenes. Yet those with any sort of knowledge, minute or vast, about the theatre life knows that the intermission is anything but a respite.
You see, the intermission is created to allow the actors, actresses, and stagehands to prepare for Act Two. Act One is over and Act Two is impending so there is much work to be done. Costumes are changed, sets are swapped out, and lines are rehearsed. The intermission is a vital part of any theatre production. Those involved in the intermission must perform their roles perfectly or Act Two will be delayed, or worse, ruined. The intermission is not just an excuse for the actors and actresses to prop up their feet and relax, rather it is an intense period of preparation which directly influences the quality of Act Two.
We are in the midst of the greatest intermission of all time. The Intermission. God’s Intermission.
When we look at the work of God throughout the history of mankind we see a familiar pattern begin to unfold. The history of the world begins in a dramatic fashion. We experience the creation, fall and redemption of all of mankind as we read through the pages of the Bible. This is Act One.
Act One is a sweeping epic which spans thousands of years and introduces us to some of the greatest heroes of our time and some of the worst villains. We see nations rise and fall, people live and die, and we witness the corruption and the redemption of the very soul of every man. Act One is the giving of, waiting for and fulfillment of the promise of The Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Act One is the giving of, waiting for and fulfillment of the promise of The Messiah, Jesus Christ.
As Act One draws to a close we are left with a glimpse of Act Two, the return of The Messiah where he will claim those who are his, cast out those who have rejected him and make all things new. The audience of humanity is left with great anticipation and a deep expectancy begins to set in. The Messiah will return in Act Two, all will be made right, the time is drawing near.
The curtain falls.
Act One is over.
The Intermission has begun.
We are living in the middle of the greatest intermission imaginable. The time between the beautiful biblical epic of Act One and the glorious heavenly revelation of Act Two. God, ever the great playwright, orchestrates it all.
Yet we are not called to sit idly as audience members do at any old play. No. We are called to join in the majestic handiwork of God’s authorship. We are called to work and prepare the world for Act Two.
We are living in the middle of the greatest intermission imaginable.
We have a duty, similar to that of those in the theatre world, to ensure that the time of Intermission is not wasted or squandered, but instead is put to good use setting the stage for the return of Jesus. We have been called by God to join Him in the work of preparing hearts and lives for the commencement of Act Two. We are asked to be a part of the greatest story ever told. Our role is vital to the continuation of this story. We cannot merely sit by and pretend that the work has been done and all that is left is to wait for Act Two. There is much work and preparation to be done.
Will you join the story? Will you take up your responsibility in preparing the world for Act Two? Or will you miss out and let the Intermission slip by, only to find out, far too late, that no one wants to miss Act Two?
Act One is over. Act Two is about to begin.
This is Intermission.