Last night’s television production of “The Passion Live” on Fox was strange and wonderful, at times contagious and very moving, and caught much of America’s attention last night, including mine. It reminds me that Jesus’s story is very much alive today. Coupled with the fact that, count ’em, four faith-based movies are in theaters now, I feel very encouraged to continue to write novels based on Bible stories because I can see there is a growing passion, even among young people, for returning to our roots in the Scriptures and then applying its meaning in our lives today. I think we could all see glimpses of ourselves last night in Judas, Peter and the other apostles, Mary and even Pontius Pilate as they sang modern songs that resonated with how they were feeling as Jesus’ Passion played out – and how we feel this week as we hear the stories again. I couldn’t help but hear a song in my head from another musical based on the Passion, “Jesus Christ Superstar” when the disciples sang, “What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a happening…” I think I would have wanted to be front stage and center for the action, making history back then. But would I have had the courage to stand up for my friend if it meant being arrested too, or would I have pretended I didn’t know him (like Peter)? Would I be anxious about the days to come, or simply be content to live in today, having faith that God’s got this as Jesus does in Luke 22:42 on the Mount of Olives as he knows he’s about to be taken a prisoner: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” It was startling and brilliant, I thought, that police officers led Jesus away in handcuffs with the two other criminals and then he came back in orange prison garb. It made it real in today’s times, which is what I hope to do with my novels. We need to encourage each other to feel passionate about our faith and our purpose, but stay grounded in today, like Jesus sings back to the disciples in the JCS song, “What’s the Buzz?” which paraphrases the Gospel: “Don’t you mind about the future, don’t you try to think ahead, save tomorrow for tomorrow think about today instead.” I hope you all have a passionately joyful Easter week!