Saturday was our final performance of Say Nicklaus, and it was, as always, a sweet and uplifting experience for everyone who was there. It’s been amazing the way the Lord has preserved Ragtown Gospel Theater time after time. It was a miraculous thing just to get it built and operating, and now we’ve just completed our 14th season. Our most difficult season, no doubt, but we’re certainly not alone in that.
There’s a line near the end of Say Nicklaus, where Nicklaus Elliffe says to Cornelius Houchen, “I don’t believe God is quite finished here…just yet.”
We’re not going anywhere, because we have seen God working in and through this place and the precious people He gathers here time and time again. If ever there was a time when God’s children desperately needed a place of joyful sanctuary, where the glory of the Truth, the One and Only Way, and the absolute assurance that complete and irrevocable love, approval, and eternal Life has been poured into us by our Lord Jesus Christ…it is now.
Very few people who have ever been to Ragtown think that all we do is put on shows. Well, maybe that is all we do…but God does something else entirely. We’ve had 45 productions since 2007…around 500 concerts and 500 performances of plays. I don’t know how many times I’ve had people tell me that they’ve done everything they know to do to get people to come to Ragtown, but they won’t. And I can’t count the number of times people have come for the first time and told me that they can’t believe they’ve missed all those wonderful opportunities to experience that thing that none of us can explain.
We’ve had the most amazing word of mouth advertising anyone could ask for, and we are so grateful for that. I’ve never known of a theater, a church, a business or organization of any kind that has such a devoted group of people who were willing to tell anyone who would listen about how great they believe this place is. We’re going to need that more than ever in the months ahead.
We’ve been busy making plans, trying to figure out what we’re going to need to do, not only to survive, but to flourish in the face of continuing challenges. As you can imagine, for 2020, our attendance ended up at about a third of what it normally would be, and donations have fallen off similarly.
Over the next weeks we’ll be letting you know about our future plans, but for now, we just wanted to thank all of you who attended this year, and to assure you that we’re not giving up. And to those of you who love Ragtown, but were unable to attend, we are hopeful to see you again…hopeful that this season of fear is over soon. The desire of our hearts remains to joyfully convey the person and promise of Jesus Christ in word and music, and we’re not about to quit when we believe with all our heart that God’s not quite finished here…not even close.
Have a joyful Christmas, and think on this…how fortunate we are that we are the generation of God’s children who were specifically appointed to be here in this place at this time, infused with the victorious Spirit of His Only Begotten Son. Why is that? So we may convey, to the lost and to the terrified, the Way, the Truth, and the Life of Jesus, evidenced by our calm assurance, by our certainty that God is, in these circumstances, in this moment, working all things together for our good.