By Gabe Michalman ('23)
Every fall, members of the Jesse Remington High School (JRHS) community can be found working hard on the yearly Humanities Faire. We take a period of history and do our best to create a theatrical presentation that fuels a desire for understanding of how God’s plan has unfolded throughout human history. This year, our theme was the Renaissance and Reformation. In only two months, scripts must be written, lines memorized, sets painted, costumes created, activities assembled and much more. In early September, Mr. Philbrick assigned students to five different groups based on different cities that contributed to the creative and theological revolution: Rome, Wittenburg, Paris, Geneva and London.
My fellow senior leaders and I met with our group, Geneva, for the first time only five weeks before our first show. Everyone quickly sprang into action researching their characters so we could put together a script that accurately portrayed the most important individuals and events of the Renaissance and Reformation Era. After a lot of creative deliberation, several revisions to the script and a great deal of patience from my group, our script was born. Over the following days, each student worked hard to memorize their lines, find a costume, organize educational activities and help with whatever else was needed. Finally, it was time to perform.
We knew it was important to try to portray the history of that time accurately, but our biggest goal was to share the Gospel with our audience. The stories of Martin Luther, John Calvin and a plethora of other Reformers highlighted the importance of the core truths of Christian doctrine, but my favorite part was the presentation of the five solas of the Reformation through the conclusion. At the end of the Faire, everyone gathered at the foot of the Hampton Court Palace set for the grand conclusion that clearly presented the gospel and invited listeners to follow in the reformers' footsteps and uphold the five solas: a relationship with God is based on Scripture alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone.
Playing the character of John Calvin helped me resonate more deeply with the struggles he went through. He worked hard and endured a lot of resistance to lead people to a biblical understanding of a relationship with God. Understanding Calvin’s story helped me think more about what I would be willing to endure for my faith, and encouraged me to keep making sure my beliefs were based on Scripture rather than just what people tell me about God. The Renaissance and Reformation Faire will always be my favorite for its stories of men and women who sacrificed for the right to share the truth of Scripture with those around them, and I know that these stories will stay with me as I move forward in my life and my personal relationship with God.