‘The In Between’: Matt Maher Loved St. Mary Magdalene’s Line in ‘The Chosen’ and Set It to Music
We too are among ‘the chosen’ — those who are called by Christ to carry his message to a broken world.
“I was one way, and now I am completely different. And the thing that happened in between … was him.”
If you’re a fan of the popular crowd-funded series “The Chosen,” you may remember hearing Elizabeth Tabish, playing the role of St. Mary Magdalene, speak that line. She was explaining to Nicodemus how she had been healed by Jesus. While she didn’t fully understand it, she knew that it had been his voice, his presence that had sent the demons fleeing her body. Jesus ignored the name “Lilith,” as she was commonly known during her time as a prostitute possessed by demons, and instead referred to her by the name she had been given at birth: Mary.
Speaking for myself, I loved that scene in the second episode of Season One. And I’m not the only one! Mary’s statement has caught on, so that a quick search of the internet turns up T-shirts, platters, bowls, wall hangings — all carrying that poignant message.
Creator and director of “The Chosen” Dallas Jenkins liked it, too. In fact, Dallas called it “the most impactful line in the entire show” — so important, in fact, that he wanted a song based on that line.
Enter Matt Maher, contemporary Christian artist and songwriter. Maher had visited the Holy Land in 2017, and he felt as though every episode of “The Chosen” was a pilgrimage in itself. He had heard the line in Episode 1, and he loved the idea of God reaching down to bridge the gap between us and himself, of Jesus being the “in between.” He was inspired to write a song reflecting on Mary Magdalene’s moment of transformation. Months later, Maher got to know Dallas Jenkins — and he sent Dallas a demo of his song, which he had titled “The In Between.” Maher recalled, “I explicitly said, ‘Please don’t share this with anyone.’ But Dallas decided to share it.”
Dallas Jenkins explained the impact the song had for him: “I listened to the demo, and I had tears streaming down my face.” He recognized that Maher’s “The In Between” was, as he called it, “a legit song that would be awesome whether the show existed or not.”
Jenkins enlisted music video director David Thorpe to plot and film a music video, which would be filmed on the set of “The Chosen.” In the completed video, Matt Maher brings along his guitar and sings “The In Between” in the familiar set of Capernaum. Cuts of Maher’s performance are interspersed with familiar cuts from the series, scenes in which characters had their personal “in between” moments with Christ.
In the end, I can't help but realize that Maher’s “The In Between” is my story, too — it’s our story. Perhaps we were never, like Mary Magdalene, inhabited by demons; but our encounter with Christ is life-changing. We are among “the chosen” — those who are called by Christ to carry his message to a broken world. Let’s go!
The first two episodes of Season Three are being shown in theaters nationwide for only a few days, before eventually being offered through various streaming services. Tickets are available for this week’s big screen showings through Angel Studios’ website.