Another entrée into Holy Week

The Man Born to Be King, published toward the end of Dorothy Sayers’s prolific career, is a faithful account of the four gospels in dramatic form. A 12 play-cycle, it was written for radio broadcasting and was performed on BBC first in the early 1940’s. Sayers is completely true to the eyewitness material in the New Testament but, as a great literary artist, she brings us into direct contact with the living text and the reality of the life of Christ. She adds character introductions, minor characters, stage directions, dialogue all the details that help us to remember that, like each of us, these people breathed and lived messy lives and yet they supped with Christ over a meal they had caught and grilled themselves. Through these plays, the worldly reality of the incarnation immerses the reader in scenes much like an Ignatian meditation. C.S. Lewis said that he read it each year in preparation for Lent.

Unfortunately, I am unable to find an online audio recording of the radio plays. So, only the book is available (paperback & Kindle). Nevertheless, the individual episodes are short but the cumulative dramatic effect of following the Lord along the dusty paths of Palestine from Bethlehem to Calvary, and the empty tomb is a powerful entrée to our pandemic Passover.

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