Over the weekend, I went to the Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs, AR with some ladies from church. It was a great time!
On the way there, I was able to grab some Chick-fil-A since I was the only irresponsible one to not eat breakfast or bring real food for lunch.
Before the play itself, we wandered the grounds off the main area – we didn’t do any hiking trails or anything like that.
We first saw the Christ of the Ozarks, which is a giant statue of Jesus that looks off from the tip of the grounds toward multiple hills of trees. They also have a scenic overlook in front of Christ.
After seeing the statue and looking around at the garden area around it, we headed back to some park benches and a swing set – the ladies ate their packed lunch while I put in a few minute of swinging.
We then went to the art gallery and saw some beautiful paintings by Jack E Dawson. I love his work. I want to order some prints!
After that, we went to the ticket booth and got our tickets before heading over to the gift shop. They didn’t have a wide selection of books, but I was tempted by what they had. We all left without buying anything since we would be back around again – we kept things in mind though, let me tell ya.
Outside the gift shop was this adorable cat named Sweet Pea. They said they got her to keep the mice away, but she’s more of an indoor, people loving cat than anything.
We went to our hotel and they took naps while I read on my phone thanks to a wall outlet to charge my phone and the local library having the ebook of a book at home. I know, I’m shocked I didn’t bring a book ready to read, too.
Before the play, we got tickets for the buffet. I usually worry about having enough good choices on the buffet line to really make it worth my while. This one was actually really good! I mean, of course, it could have been better, but I was impressed with all the options I liked, considering I am a picky eater. I had a plate of salad and another full plate. I tried pineapple stuffing for the first time and it was amazing. Highly recommend that.
Between stuffing ourselves with a three course meal (dessert was also included and I pretty much sampled everything…) and the play, we had two pre-show displays that were entertaining and informative.
David, the shepherd and king, explained about what a shepherd does and how he uses his tools like the shepherds staff and his slingshots that he keeps tied around his waist. After the display in front of some bleachers and chairs, we moved over to this other area where he hit trees with rocks using his slingshot. He then tried with marshmallows which were aimed and landed in the petting zoo for the animals.
After that, we went back to the bleachers for a potter’s display. As he created a pot on the wheel, he talked about the aspects in which we are the clay and God is the potter.
But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.Isaiah 64:8
Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?Romans 9:21
We had about 40 minutes before the play started so we slowly made our way there to find seats at the outdoor amphitheater.
It was so cool to see an outdoor play like this. It wasn’t hard to see and it was a beautiful evening to be outside.
Before the play began, the director talking about how the Passion Play basically went under and needed some work. A group of church’s and organizations wanted this play to continue so they took over the payments on a 2.7 million loan… that still needed to be paid off a few years ago. Because of the generous giving, they’ve paid off 2 million of that in a short amount of time. Only God can move people to give like that so that the good work being done on the grounds of the Great Passion Play can continue. They had big plans for the future as well.
The play itself was great. I don’t know how they did some of what they did. It was very well orchestrated. The play told the events much to the effect of how I have read Jesus ministry and crucifixion. It’s a tear jerker when Jesus is praying to God to take the cup that’s before him and again on the cross for our sins and is crying out to God.
I wonder if anyone was there at the play who was not a believer before the play. Would they think it was just another play? Or would they see the impact of what God has given us and repent to come to Jesus instead?
The next day we woke up and has breakfast in the main office of the motel we were staying at. Then we had time to kill before needing to go to the tour we had tickets for at the Passion Play so we went to the famous Crescent Hotel. Our goal was to try to see the Christ of the Ozarks statue, which everyone says you can, but it wasn’t possible for us that morning either we were looking entirely in the wrong place (unlikely) or the trees were just blocking our view (likely).
While there we enjoyed a beautiful time in gardens, the tall trees, and saw another beautiful hotel cat.
We also went to a very small Catholic Church on the grounds near the hotel while wandering around. The church was empty, along with the gardens surrounding it. It was actually almost creepy, but it was peaceful too. They had a gift shop but it didn’t open til later. While there in the gardens, they had this monument to memorialize the victims of abortion.
We returned to the Passion Play grounds for a tour of the tabernacle led by an older gentleman who played the part of Moses basically, but he was very knowledgeable of Old Testament practices and the impact in the New Testament. The man said he grew up Jewish so he knew the Old Testament real well, but at about age 50, he came to Jesus.
We sat on these concrete benches while the man spoke before we entered the replica tabernacle and I was having an allergic reaction of some kind in my right eye. Did I mention I was on the front row? I was shook.
Once we he was wrapping up that portion, my eye decided to cool it and then we were off toward the tabernacle. It was very interesting to learn about the different places within the tabernacle and have things explained. Not a fan of animals dying personally, although I know those things had to be done and God made humans above animals….
Within the inner chambers where the high priest would go, there were windows for us to view the inside without going inside even though in a real tabernacle and chambers, there would not be windows.
I knew that High Priests went into the most holy place once a year, but I never knew that no one died. The Bible says that if they entered unclean and with sin, then they would die, but I guess I assumed that it had happened before. The man as our guide said that no priest had died while in there.
After that, we got back on the bus and headed toward the main grounds. There was a Jeep Jam going on so while that was cool and all, the bus couldn’t get up to the main parking lot to drop us off. More walking 😀
We then headed home after I bought some stuff from the gift shop – coloring book and pencils for grandma, cozy butterfly print socks for mom, and some Bible highlighters (which are really just brightly colored pencils) and a spiritual gifts booklet for myself. I know, shocking I didn’t buy an actual book for myself.
In Springdale, we stopped at an authentic Mexican restaurant where 98% of the people – patrons and workers – spoke Spanish. Very delicious taco salad if you ever stop at Taqueria Mexico.
That pretty much sums up my trip and weekend in general.
What exciting things have you been up to?