Many years ago as I sat listening to my husband, Ray, preach, I found myself inspired by his sermon illustration of the great artist and sculptor Michelangelo. He would go down to the garbage where other artists had discarded their marble thought to be unusable, and he would bring these discarded pieces to his studio and turn them into masterpieces.
Jesus also rescues discarded humanity out of the pit of sin, brings them to himself through the power of the cross and transforms them into masterpieces. It was from this sermon that the theme song, Master Mender and the title of the Easter passion play was born.
It was around this time that Ray and I were invited to help the congregation of Valley Assembly of God church produce an Easter drama in Salt Lake City, Utah.
While driving across country on a trip we were making to Oregon, song ideas and scene scenarios began to formulate in my mind. At the time, I didn’t have anything to write on so I grabbed a brown paper sack that was in the backseat and began to write down all the ideas that were flying back and forth between Ray and I as we drove down the road. That is how Master Mender started.
Easter of 1982 was the first of many years of performances in Salt Lake City. With the help of many talented teams of people, scenes were written and expanded, sets were designed and created, costumes were sewn, and new ideas were added. As each year passed, we found ourselves having to add more and more performances as hundreds of people lined up around the building waiting to get in. One year, Valley Assembly of God ministered a total of twenty-one performances for that season.
Literally thousands of people have come to see the dramatic portrayal of Jesus’ miracles, his death on the cross, and his triumphal resurrection. This play was written to include an invitation at the end of each performance so everyone had an opportunity to receive Jesus as Savior. Over these many years, Master Mender has been the means by which the Holy Spirit has drawn hundreds upon hundreds to receive Jesus as their Savior.
All glory and praise goes to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who by his Holy Spirit has made all of this possible and continues to do so to this day.
Ray and Cathi Smith