All posts tagged: Hamilton

Skin in the Game

  I took my son and his friend to see Paul, Apostle of Christ in the theater during Holy Week. It seemed an appropriate thing to do. Besides, there is something potentially powerful in seeing a film about the origins of the Christian faith in the same theater where my son has watched the most recent Star Wars films and other things like that. Those stories that he has loved are stories of great heroism, adventure, and matters of life-or-death. Maybe by seeing this film in the same setting, the fact that this story is about all those things and more would be reinforced? I think my son liked it, and we talked about it in the days to follow. I liked the film, too, but I also found myself challenged and inspired. And it was actually several little things that did this to me. On Mentoring First, the mentoring that the film portrayed in the early Christian communities grabbed my attention. In this particular narrative, it began with Paul who mentored Luke, strengthening the …

“Who Tells Your Story?”: Hamilton and the New Evangelization

Last week, composer Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize winning musical Hamilton, which tells the story of “ten-dollar founding father” Alexander Hamilton through rap and hip hop, made history of its own when it received sixteen Tony nominations, more than any other Broadway musical. Unlike any other musical in recent memory, Hamilton has transcended the somewhat niche audience of Broadway lovers, finding a firm foothold in popular culture and capturing the imaginations of those who love traditional music theatre, those who love rap and hip hop, those who love American history, those who love a good underdog story, the list goes on and on. This phenomenal reception begs the question: what is it about this show? Why has Hamilton struck such a chord in the hearts of those who have been lucky enough to see it or (in a far more likely scenario since the show is sold out until January 2017) those who have been listening to the Original Cast Recording on repeat for months now? For one thing, Hamilton is, quite simply, artistically excellent. The …

Lent, “Hamilton”-Style

So we’re halfway through the third week of Lent already, and perhaps the practices that you’ve taken up are beginning to fall by the wayside. Or perhaps the earliness of Ash Wednesday snuck up on you and you still haven’t decided what practices you’ll take up for Lent this year. If you find yourself in either boat, I’d like to offer two possible Lenten practices for your consideration, courtesy of the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. Talk less. Smile more. Throughout the musical, Aaron Burr offers these two practices to Alexander Hamilton as the means by which he can “get ahead” and distinguish himself in the political landscape; however, placed in the context of Lent, they become instructions for practicing asceticism—a way in which a person might observe the words of the psalmist: “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Ps 141:3, NRSV). Here are a few ideas on how to make the words of Hamilton your own watchwords for the rest of this Lenten season. Talk less. Refrain …