Truly, God’s Servant!

The curtains came down on St. Thomas More, The Musical, after 6 shows held over two weekends, namely, the weekends of 24 &25 June and 2 & 3 July 2011.

The casts made up of very talented actors and actresses both young and old gave a timely reminder of what it meant to be, God’s Servant.

The story begins in a present day home, where a mother expresses her disappointment with her children’s denial of God when their faith was challenged.

This, lead her to share the life of St Thomas More with her children that was carefully explained through the rest of the Musical.

Thomas More was made Henry VIII's Chancellor, after benefitting the King's confidence. Many in that position would have just played along and did whatever that pleases the King so as to secure their continued tenure and enjoy the prosperity that comes with it. In the modern day context, it would mean, not having to rock the boat and at its best maintaining status quo to protect one’s rice bowl.

But St Thomas More did something out of the ordinary. He refused to take the Oath of Supremacy acknowledging the King to be the head of the Church of England. He stood his ground and kept steadfast to his faith! His defiance at that time constituted treason in the eyes of many, especially that of Henry VIII. His resignation as Chancellor brought great distress to his wife and family (including his servants). After all, he had lost out on his income as Chancellor and whatever other allowances he would have received in that high office. He was reduced to living off his meagre income from his pension and rent of his estate. He was now an ordinary man.

But there was worst to come! The Musical portrayed its best of the corrupt judicial process, which constituted judges that included inter alia the father and uncle of Henry VIII’s new Queen, Anne Boleyn. The judges without hesitation found Thomas More guilty and sentenced him to death.

Thomas More, played by Nathaniel Zacharias gave a very powerful and emotional performance, especially in the scene where he was in prison corresponding with his daughter, Margaret (or Meg as she was referred to throughout the Musical) played by Jessica D’Cruz. The sentiments of a daughter’s plea expressed through the letters to her father to just give in and take the oath, so that he could be released and return to his family was all too real and understandable.

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Perhaps it is easier to just give in and give up as oppose to stand up for what is right and just, especially when our faith is put to the test. It is in this respect, that the Musical gave an eloquent rendition of St. Thomas More’s courage and righteousness, which was dictated by his clear conscience. Reminiscing on Thomas More’s last words on the scaffold where he exclaimed, “I am the King’s good servant, but God’s first”, the Musical reminded us of the many tribulations that has afflicted the Christian Churches in Malaysia in recent times.

At the conclusion of The Musical, His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Soter Fernandez, expressed his gratitude to all responsible in producing The Musical and acknowledged the good work of its director Patrick Archibald and his team. He said that the Musical reminds us that our role as ambassadors of Christ is not just about sharing and caring, but also to be daring!

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