Saturday, December 31, 2016
Cast: Two people, any age or gender.
Set: Two people (friends) sitting. Each has a Bible and has been reading. Drama proceeds in animated dialogue only. Christian tee shirts to signal that both are believers. Script can be hidden in Bibles if needed. Vocal inflection and a few natural hand gestures where appropriate show each is interested in the other’s reply.
[Looking up from his Bible.] Hey, I know why Jesus called Peter “The Rock.”
Because he sinks like a rock.
I’m reading this part in Matthew’s gospel where Jesus is walking out to the boat.
Oh, yeah, that’s some cool stuff. Walking on water.
Well, unless you are Peter.
Then you take a few steps and start to sink.
He started to sink because he focused on the storm instead of walking to his Master.
But still, what a knucklehead.
Beats sitting in the cheap seats.
Cheap seats? What are you talking about? This wasn’t a baseball game.
Could have been. There were lots of spectators.
While Peter took only a few steps on top of the water before his human nature kicked in and he started thinking about how big the storm was instead of what Jesus called him to do, there were 11 other men who were just watching.
Do you remember the part where James and John tried to walk on water?
That’s because it’s not in the Bible.
Because they didn’t get out of the boat and even try to walk to Jesus.
Do you remember Nautical Nathanael? That’s quite a nickname for someone who walked on water.
I missed that. Where is that in the Bible?
Oh it’s not. If Nathanael were to get a nickname it might have been Boatbound Bartholomew.
Nathanael, sometimes called Bartholomew, never got out of the boat either.
Wow! Peter may have almost drowned, but at least he wasn’t just a spectator.
So maybe, we cut him a little slack. He heard Jesus call him. He wanted to go to him and he took a few steps on top of the water.
I hope you cut me some slack.
I’m worse than a spectator. I’m an armchair quarterback.
Sure, I’ll cut you some slack. We are called to encourage each other, not sit in the cheap seats and point fingers at each other.
You know what I think?
If you are trying to walk on water or whatever else Jesus has called you to do, you don’t have time to be pointing fingers at how everyone else isn’t quite perfect.
That’s some real water-walking insight there.
It’s time I got out of the boat—the cheap seats—and took some steps of faith myself.
[Both walk off together singing.]
I have decided to follow Jesus.
No turning back.
No turning back.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
These are short dramas or skits for use mainly in churches. They each contain a simple message normally rooted in a single Bible verse or a short set of Bible verses.
Cast size is normally very small to eliminate the requirement for organized rehearsal and often the script can be hidden in the set, even on clipboards or book covers where there are no props at all.
While each script is copyrighted by the author, Tom Spence; they are to be freely used whenever they can bring glory to God. That is the purpose of this blog—to share these short, usually fun skits designed for church groups.
While many of these could be done on the spur of the moment, it is recommended that the scriptures used be studied first before learning the parts. Prayer that God bless the sharing of his word in this ministry is always effective, and have fun reaching people that might have missed out during a traditional message.
The blog archive is the index to available dramas on this site.
The dramas on the right-hand margin are more substantial but could also be used in church groups or community theaters. These are available for purchase at very reasonable prices.
May God bless you for engaging in sharing his word in a drama ministry.
Eating an Elephant
Cast: Two youth, any gender.
Setting: Any stage. Story is conveyed completely in dialogue.
I’ll never get this done.
You don’t even know what I am talking about.
But I know the attitude.
If you don’t believe you can do it, then you won’t get it done.
I’m just talking about homework not a mission to Mars.
OK. Then what’s the problem?
I put it off to the last minute.
That wasn’t wise.
Thanks for the reminder.
Do you know how to eat an elephant?
No and I don’t know how it helps with homework.
One bite at a time and that’s also how you do your homework.
Great. Don’t they have groups that will arrest you or sue you if you eat an elephant?
Probably. It is an analogy.
I know. I just don’t want to do my homework. It’s just too much.
I knew it.
When Moses sent spies from each tribe into the Promised Land, ten out of the twelve said the people there look like giants.
What did the other two say?
Let’s take the land that God gave to us.
Did they not see the same things?
They saw exactly the same things. It is just that two of them, Joshua and Caleb, knew that if God gave them the land then he would give them victory over anything that stood in their way.
That was like a looooong time ago.
You’re right, but in a letter that one of the disciples who followed Jesus wrote, he said that He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
I remember that verse. John wrote it.
Yes he did. Do you know what I’m talking about now?
That I might be spending too much time thinking about how big my problems are or how much homework I have instead of on how big my God is.
Very good. That and next time don’t procrastinate until the last minute.
Not to worry. I can knock it. I’m not shrinking back from anything in front of me anymore.
You are a quick learner. I’ll bet you have that homework knocked out in no time.
I’m about to take my first bite of elephant. I’ll let you know how it tastes tomorrow when I see you in class.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Cast: Two men.
Set: Any. Story advances in dialogue only.
Hey you remember how you made me memorize Proverbs 3:5-6.
I didn’t actually make you memorize it.
You know what I mean. You pestered me until I did it.
In a good way.
OK. What about it?
It only works up to a point.
Yes, really. At some point, you gotta do what you gotta do to survive. You gotta do what you know.
I see. There’s a lotta gottas there.
You know this love your neighbor stuff only goes so far. Sometimes you just have to punch the bully in the nose.
Sometimes, the budget is too tight to tithe.
Sometimes you can tell that what the Spirit is leading you to do just isn’t going to work out.
I see and I understand but I surely do not agree.
Maybe things always go great for you.
They don’t but that’s when we have to trust God even more. Up for a story?
It’s coming anyway, isn’t it?
Back in the day…
Oh, this is an Old Testament story.
Yes, three kings one each from Israel, Edom, and Judah set out to make war against Moab. Because of previous victories by Israel over Moab, Moab had to pay tribute to Israel of in form of one hundred thousand lambs.
That’s a lotta lamb.
And the wool from a hundred thousand rams.
That’s a lotta wool.
But when there was a change of kings in Israel, the king of Moab decided not to pay. The king of Israel got his fellow kings from Judah and Edom to round up their armies and march on Moab.
That sounds like it took a lotta moxie. Look out Moab.
That’s what the three kings thought, but they had not planned their logistics very well. They marched their armies seven days across the desert until there was no water left for man nor beast. Of course when you got in a pickle like that back in the day, you asked God why he let you get yourself in such a bind.
And did God answer them?
Actually, among them was a prophet named Elisha. Elisha listened for God to tell him what they were to do. God told Elisha to tell these three kings to dig ditches everywhere that they could in the valley where they were camped.
They must have thought he was crazy. These men march across the desert, are dying of thirst, and now they are told to dig ditches. If that wouldn’t do them in, I don’t know what would.
God told Elisha that they would not see a drop of rain fall but that he would fill the ditches.
I bet that went over well. Did they burn Elisha at the stake?
No, everyone did what the prophet told them to do.
But it didn’t make sense.
Oh but it did. The rain fell far, far away and something of a flash flood swept through the land, but instead of being there one minute and gone the next, it filled all of the ditches with water.
Wow. Didn’t see that coming.
Neither did anyone else, but they trusted what God had said thorough the prophet. There was plenty of water for people, animals, cooking, and cleaning but it had a little bit of a muddy look to it, so when the Moabites looked down from the mountain upon the encampment of the three armies, it looked like blood was everywhere.
Wow. That must have been a sight.
The Moabite commander thought that the three armies had turned on each other and killed each other so the soldiers broke ranks and ran down the hill to plunder the possessions of these defunct armies.
But they were not dead, were they?
Nope, and they were ready to fight. Disorganized Moab fell quickly and was routed.
Wow. God delivered on water and victory.
Now if these three kings had relied on their own understanding…
No way would they order their men to dig ditches.
And no way, would they have captured enough water to survive, much less gained victory.
So, maybe, it seems that I am throwing in the towel too soon on this trusting God and not my own understanding approach to my life?
That’s my thought.
Backed by a good biblical example. You and Elisha have convinced me to stay the course with this trust in the Lord with all your heart business a while longer.
Even when it conflicts with your own understanding?
Especially when it conflicts with my own understanding!
Beats digging ditches.
Fade out/lights down.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Jesus Lives – Inquiring Minds Want to Know
Cast: An older husband and wife playing a long-married couple.
Set: Any set with a chair center stage for the husband to read his paper. The wife may be on or off stage with her replies. Husband is a little on the dry side. Wife has temperament of a woman who has put up with this for years.
[Lights up or fade in.]
[Husband reading paper.] Hey. I’m not in here again.
Why must you always read the obituaries first?
Because if I’m not in there, then I can read the rest of my paper.
Okay wise guy. Enjoy your paper.
This is interesting.
What? Am I in the obituary?
No, but that guy that was roaming the countryside for the past couple years is.
Johnny the Baptizer?
No. That’s old news. Though the head on the platter thing kept him in the headlines and obits for a few days. And the political cartoons were…
Enough. Who died?
Jesus of Nazareth.
You don’t say.
I do say, well the paper says anyway. Get this—while there were numerous witnesses to his brutal execution at the hands of the Romans; the body cannot currently be located.
How do you lose a body?
The obit says see page 1.
Just a minute. [Stops to pull out an ad.] Hey! Do you want this buy one get one free ad?
You are hilarious. Put those Pagan Mart ads on the floor. They are not even making it to the recycle bin.
Just trying to save a little by watching the ads.
Why don’t we take out a membership in the Sabbath Day Workout Club while we are at it?
Here’s the article. Early Sunday morning there was quite the buzz around one of the top of the line tombs that Joseph of Arimathea had just taken off the market. Apparently, Joseph had donated the tomb to place Jesus in before the sun went down on Friday.
That was considerate of him.
But now they are saying that Jesus was gone early Sunday morning. The official line is that his disciples took him.
Why would anyone take a body that’s already in the grave?
The Romans—again this is the party line—said that his disciples said that he would rise from the dead and they were trying to make it look like that’s what happened.
He did say that. I remember the Teachers of the law getting in a big hubbub over it. It was almost as controversial as when he healed that guy on the Sabbath.
But the reports from the scene before the Roman propaganda machine got hold of it have soldiers with reports of angels and earthquakes and bright lights. Once Pilate’s peons got wind of this, they had these guys spouting the party line.
[In a romantic voice.] I did feel the earth move last night, dear.
Yeah and we had an earth quake a couple days ago right before we had midnight madness around noon. Crazy things happening these days that’s for sure.
I wonder what they are going to do about the curtain in the temple.
What? [Turning pages again.]
Remember, during Friday’s quake the curtain of the temple was torn.
Whoa! That’s timely. You should read the editorial It says that the tearing of the curtain symbolizes all that separates man from God being removed by the blood of Jesus.
I’m glad the editorial page has something other than election rants.
This Jesus is getting all sorts of coverage in today’s paper. He should trademark some tee-shirts or something.
What’s Dear Gabby got to say?
Some dude named Thomas writing in that his buds are claiming Jesus appeared to them while he was out running errands. Says he won’t believe it unless he sees the holes in his hands.
What does she tell him to do?
She says just hang with your friends. If Jesus is alive, he will pop in again.
She always has the best answers.
Here’s what I have been looking for.
Saul of Tarsus is holding a seminar next week.
It’s called The Law and Nothing but the Law. This guy is good. He knows the ins and outs of the Law of Moses.
Do you think he really knows what God wants just because he knows the law inside and out?
What more could God want?
Maybe mercy instead of sacrifice. Maybe repentance. Maybe that we love each other.
Yeah sure. Those are good too. Hey you know what all this means?
What? That our sins are forgiven and we can live forever because of Jesus?
There’s that, but what I was thinking is that Joseph of Arimathea can put his tomb back on the market.
There is no accounting for taste with you.
I was just saying…
[Lights down or fade out.]
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Rocks and Scorpions
Cast: Two adults. The second of the two needs to have a coy, somewhat tongue-in-cheek dryness in delivery.
Set: Any set. Story advances entirely with conversation.
I don’t believe it. I needed a big break on a big deal today and God left me hanging.
Yes. I asked him to make it all fall into place. I don’t pray much but I prayed this time and sure enough God stiffed me.
Yeah, I don’t see the point in asking God for anything.
Enough about how God doesn’t like me much. What’s up with you?
Oh, the kids wanted some of that fancy cheese bread for dinner.
Are you off to the store to get them some?
No, I can just order them a load of gravel online and have it dumped on the front porch.
Are you feeling alright?
Yeah, sure. Why?
Nothing. Just seemed like a strange response to what your kids wanted.
Whatever. Can you believe this—one of my kids wanted a dog for a pet.
That sounds like a normal kid.
Maybe, but the kid is getting a scorpion instead.
What! You’ve lost your marbles. What kind of father would give his kid a scorpion when they ask for a puppy?
What, you don’t think that sounds like me?
No. You like to give your kids good things. You love them. You would never give them a load of gravel or a scorpion.
I am nowhere near the good person that you are and I wouldn’t do that to my kids.
What? Which part?
You’re right. We both want to give our kids good things and if we who are ever so flawed want the very best for our kids, do you think that God wants any less for his?
You are soooooo sneaky.
Sometimes, a little.
Or a lot, but right on target. OK, I get it. God didn’t jinx my deal. He’s not going to give me bad things when I am asking for good.
That doesn’t mean that he will cater to you every whim.
No, but it if ask in his name for something that is in his will, I should expect to receive it.
And not a load of gravel…
Or a scorpion.
Want the verse?
Hit me. I can handle it.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Advent Halftime Speech
Cast: 2 male coaches. Coach 1 does most of the talking
Uniform and equipment: Dressed to look like Football Coaches. May have clipboards.
Coach 2 remains almost motionless, with his chin resting in his hand—very contemplative and intense without words until the players leave.
Coach 1 [Looking directly in front as if players are seated before him]
OK men, I know that you are tired. The sweat is stinging your eyes and the cold wind is chilling us all to the bone, but I know that you have more in you than I have seen this half.
Defense, I want containment. Don’t let number 24 get around the end any more.
Linebackers, how about some pop when you meet those backs up the middle. I want them to know that running inside is tough business.
And how about some quickness off the ball. C’mon isn’t that what we trained for. We are supposed to be the strongest and the quickest and the smartest. I don’t want to see anyone getting suckered in on a trap block again. We are better than that!
Offense. Really guys, I counted six missed blocks on that last drive. [Pointing at one player] And that little love tap that you gave number 40 wasn’t a block!
And what about maintaining contact until the whistle. Don’t let up on your blocks.
I want to see some consistency and motivation. Keep your heads in the game. It’s not over yet.
OK men, we are ahead 63 to nothing, but I want to see some improvement this half. Now get back out there and show me what you’ve got.
[Looking at fellow coach] Man, you rode them pretty hard to be winning by this much. What’s up?
Yes, Advent. It is to prepare for the coming of the Lord.
I know, like lighting candles and stuff.
That’s part of it but the real part is preparing for the coming of the Lord.
And how does that relate to your halftime talk?
You know how we are always preaching that football is more than football…
Yeah, it’s about character, and overcoming challenges, and about life.
Right. When Jesus comes back, whenever that is, he is going to find me giving 100% at whatever I do. His return will be sudden but I will not be caught off guard. I will be pouring myself into living this life to the full so I can bring glory to his name. We are teaching these young men something very similar. I will make that connection at the end of the game.
[Shaking head in agreement] Got it! [Exits stage running after players] Alright men, we are not holding anything back this half! I want to see what you’ve got!!!
Coach 1 [Looking across audience]
We build up to Christmas celebrations every year. It is good to celebrate the birth of our Savior, but Advent is also about being reading for his return. Whether you have played a quarter, half, or your game is late in the 4th quarter—did you give it all you have in this life so as to bring glory to God?
Are you ready for his return? I won’t keep you any longer. Get back in the game and give it all you have.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Cast: Two adults with exceptional pantomime skills. The second of the two needs to look overly distraught through facial expressions, slumping shoulders, and limpness of the body. Speech should be dragged out to exaggerate an Eeyore type of pessimism.
Set: Any. Story advances on dialogue and body movements.
Why do you look so sad?
No, I don’t know. Please tell me.
That makes you sad?
No, I don’t know. Please tell me.
Gotta love your neighbor.
Supposed to love your enemy.
OK. That’s a little more difficult.
Gotta be the light of the world.
I think you might have missed the boat on that one altogether.
[Drags out answer even more.] Really?
This following Jesus is tough stuff.
Yes, sometimes are tougher than others, but there is no need for this doom and gloom outlook.
I need to be a good disciple and give up myself for him.
And you need to do it with a smile on your face and not like you have been stuck driving behind 4 cattle trucks in August all day long.
But I want everyone to know that I am following Jesus and even trying to love those who hate me.
Then do it without a disfigured face.
Jesus told the Jews who were practicing fasting, to quit walking around like they would never eat again. If you are fasting because it is what God wants you to do, then have some enthusiasm about it.
It does seem to be a little hypocritical to say I am following Jesus and then act like it’s sucking the life out of me.
[Stops dragging out speech.] OK. A lot.
If we do what Jesus tells us to do or the Spirit leads us to do or what we already know to do from reading God’s word, God sees it.
I knew that. It’s just…
Hard to break away from that old nature.
We are promised that God will reward us for being obedient to him. We don’t care if others see it or not.
[Both nodding agreement and start to walk off stage.]
It’s time to follow Jesus with a smile on my face.
[Drags out speech to tease partner.] I would saaaaay sooooo.
[Still dragging out speech but with a big smile.] OooooooKaaaay.
Treasure in Heaven
Cast: 2 adults of any age and gender.
Set: Any stage. All props are pantomimed.
Where are we going?
I need to show you something.
[Pretends to unlock door with key and open.]
Another locked door. That’s three so far.
Hang in there. Not much farther.
[Pretends to unlock door with cipher lock.]
Do you have nuclear weapons in here? Why all the security?
I don’t want anyone to break in.
[Puts eye up to what would be a scanner.]
Wow. That was impressive. Is Jimmy Hoffa hiding out here or what?
No. Just being safe and secure.
[Puts hand up to hand scanner so final set of doors will open.]
Wow! [Looking amazed.] Now this is something.
You bet it is.
[Looking all around at treasures stored in the room.] Wow! Now that is some stuff.
Stuff? These are treasures. [Pointing left.] These are all baseball cards from the 1960’s.
[Nodding head as if impressed by the collection.] Back in the day. Wow.
[Moving right.] These are all classic peanut butter and cheese crackers. You can’t get these much any more. Mostly it’s all peanut butter or all cheese. These are both.
And this… [Continuing to the right.] This is my Hotwheels collection.
Wow! You must have 100 sets or more.
Well, it’s 210 if you must know.
I guess you can never have too many?
[Continuing to the next set of treasures to the right.] And these, oh these are among my favorites. These are newspapers from every day since I graduated high school.
That’s a lot of newspaper.
[Steps back in shock.] Oh no! What happen? It can’t be.
What is it?
Mice! Mice have made nests in my newspapers. [Turns back to left.]
That’s what they do.
[Shocked again.] No, no, no, no, no!
My Hotwheels are beginning to rust.
They were not made to last forever.
But I have safeguarded them so well.
I hate to disappoint you, but…
I’m guessing from the date on those cheese crackers…
Peanut butter and cheese crackers.
Yes, I am guessing from the date on those peanut butter and cheese crackers that they will turn to dust the moment that you open them.
[Drops to floor crying.] My treasures!
Really? These are your treasures?
I would say it is time for a little truth spoken in love.
Jesus told those who followed him not to store up treasures on earth.
You are witness to it.
Moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal.
Nothing’s missing from here. You saw how careful I am.
Who is going to steal stale crackers?
That hurt, but point taken. But I want to have some treasure. I want something that will last.
Now we’re talking.
Where you treasure is, that is where you heart lies as well.
In plain English.
Our treasure is what we love.
Like peanut butter and cheese crackers?
Do you still love them now that they are stale?
Not so much.
How about when we helped those people who lost everything in the fire.
I loved doing that.
Or when we sang Christmas songs at the nursing home.
Those are your treasures.
When you love your neighbor, you are storing up treasure in heaven.
Where mice don’t break in and crackers don’t go stale.
What’s the whole verse?
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Wow. I have been storing treasure in the wrong place.
It’s not too late to change.
Consider it done. I just have to call the Department of Defense first.
To see if they want to rent a secure storage facility.
I have to go bury my father…
Cast: 2 men of any age.
Set: Any stage. The script advances through quick-moving conversation only. No props are required.
That was some ballgame last night. What a finish.
Cool. You really are into the season this year.
Oh yeah. This could be the year.
Hey! Prayer group tonight. Want me to pick you up?
Not tonight. Maybe next time.
OK. Call me if you change your mind.
Sure. I really want to go, you know.
OK. How about you come with me tomorrow to work in the food kitchen downtown?
Sounds like something that I should be doing.
I’ll pick you up at 7 sharp.
Oops. Forgot. I have to rearrange my sock drawer.
OK. I guess that’s important.
I have a lot of unmatched socks.
I can only imagine.
Really, you don’t want me wearing mismatched socks, do you?
At least you will come to the midweek Bible study with me, right?
Sure. I’d love to…oh, oh, sorry, I just remembered that…
You have to go bury your father.
What? No. My dad is still alive. Why would you say such a thing?
Just saving you the trouble.
You are so not making any sense.
Think about this from Matthews’s gospel. Jesus had been out and about doing all manner of things that amazed people and many were saying that they were ready to follow him.
That should have pleased him.
Jesus wanted people to follow him with their eyes wide open. He told one teacher of the law that said he would follow that even the wild animals and birds have some idea where they are going to sleep tonight, but I am on a mission from my Father and don’t make hotel reservations.
I remember that one. Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
Then when it appeared someone else was ready to commit to following Jesus, he remembered that he needed to go bury his father.
That does seem like a reasonable request, doesn’t it?
Follow the man who holds life and life eternal in his hands or go plan a funeral for someone who is already dead?
Life or death?
Do we follow the one who is life or do we work out the details of this dead world? Life or death?
In that context…
That is the real context.
OK, I get it. My sock drawer can wait.
The most important things as the world ranks them don’t hold a candle to connecting with the source of real, abundant, and eternal life.
OK. Pick me up for prayer group tonight. I am ready to connect with what’s really important.
Make sure that you wear matching socks.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Faith of the Centurion
Cast: 2 people—teen to adult.
Set: Any stage. No props. Script is entirely fast moving conversation.
What do you want for your birthday?
I’ve been thinking about that.
X-Box, Y-Box, a Galaxy 242ZX, or maybe a summer pass to Waterworld?
Those would be cool.
Yeah, like really cool.
I guess so, but…
I was thinking that I wanted the faith of the centurion.
Is that the new video game?
Man, I heard that was way cool and the graphics are unbelievable.
It’s not a game but does come close to unbelievable.
What do you mean?
In the Bible, there is a story of Jesus walking in the area called Capernaum.
Jesus did a lot of walking.
Yes he did, land and sea.
Never mind, I’ll get back on topic. Jesus was walking and this Roman officer, something like a captain, came to Jesus and asked him to heal his servant.
Jesus didn’t want to have anything to do with a Roman, did he?
On the contrary. Jesus said, “Let’s do this.”
But the Roman officer—the centurion—told Jesus that he was not worthy to have Jesus come into his house.
That sounds strange for a Roman to say that. They were like the conquerors of the world.
True, but this one was different.
Instead of accepting the invitation, he told Jesus that all he had to do was say the word and it would be done.
You mean that he believed that Jesus didn’t even have to travel to where his servant was to heal him?
That is different.
The centurion said that he had men under his own authority and when he gave an order, he was confident that it would be carried out.
So if the centurion was confident of his own orders, he was even more confident that when Jesus said something, it was as good as done.
Wow! I am impressed.
Jesus gave the centurion some credit too. He told those who were following him that this Roman officer had more faith than anyone he had seen in all of Israel.
The Roman—who you would not expect to have faith—had more faith than even God’s Chosen People and their leaders.
That’s better than an X-Box or I-Phone or a Summer Pass.
That’s some big-time faith.
And that’s what you want?
Something tells me that you already have it.
If you are seeking after God’s kingdom and his righteousness instead of X-Boxes and Video games, I am thinking that you are going to discover that God has already put all the faith inside of you that you need.
I am sure it is in here somewhere.
And I am sure that you will put it to use and do great things in the name of Jesus.
Sounds like you have a little faith of your own.
Yeah. I want some of what you want.
To have Jesus use me as an example of faith one day.
Yeah. That would be something.
To put a smile on his face…
And amaze all of those folks who thought we were just a couple of knuckleheads.
Both exit and speak together: BUT WHO HAD THE FAITH OF THE CENTURION, A FAITH GREATER THAN ANY JESUS HAD SEEN IN THE ENTIRE REGION.
[Both begin to exit together but the first stops abruptly.]
Wait! What happened? What happened with the servant?
The centurion’s servant was healed that very hour.
[Both resume walking out.]
I want me some of that faith.
Now we’re talking…
The Bread of Life
Cast: Two friends (teen to adult) that engage in conversation.
Set: Any set. The skit hinges on quick moving conversation and some animated gesturing. There is much head nodding in agreement during the conversations about eating great food.
Both pantomime eating a burger and fries to begin the skit.
[Sighing.] Another happy meal. Oh well. I guess it’s filling.
[Raised eyebrow.] Whether it’s nutritious or not is another story.
Oh, but Ramen is filling.
They do a great job of making preservatives taste good don’t they?
Of course, there is nothing like a Thanksgiving dinner.
Oh yeah. Turkey, dressing, gravy, mmmmm…
And the pies. Oh how I love the pies.
Squash casserole, macaroni and cheese, and the smells.
[Big inhale. Speaks during exhale.] Oh, the smell of Thanksgiving dinner cooking makes me feel like I am in love.
But I also love me a ham at Easter. He is risen, hallelujah! Pass the ham. Amen!
Or at Christmas.
Not so much.
OK, at any other time you can find someone serving ham and mashed potatoes and fried okra.
What could be better?
As you asked, how about a ribeye cooked on the grill, with salad, and baked potato.
Ranch on the salad and loaded baked potato.
Wow, that’s some good eating.
Yes it is.
Do you know what a happy meal, Ramen, turkey, ham, steak, and baked potatoes have in common?
I love them all?
Other than that.
You eat them and they are gone.
Isn’t that the way with all food?
Pretty much, with a notable exception.
The bread of life.
Does Wonder Bread make that?
Sarah Lee? Nobody does it like Sarah Lee.
No, in fact you won’t find any of the typical things in this bread that you would in your regular bread.
What? Is this a no calorie, high fiber, sports bread or something like that?
Let’s go with something like that.
Jesus called himself the bread of life.
Sort of like the breakfast of champions.
I think that’s Wheaties. Anyway, in John’s gospel after Jesus blessed five loaves and two fishes and his disciples fed the multitude, he went across the sea towards Capernaum.
I remember that part because he walked on water.
Right, but when he got to the other side he told people that were following him--[Makes sweeping gesture with one arm to signify people having to go around.]—they had to go the long way around the lake mind you—anyway, Jesus told these people that life is not about getting a free meal but on the other hand, he said not to get wrapped up on working hard just to get food that perishes.
What other kind of food is there, well other than MREs. Those things and Ramen have enough preservatives to last for centuries.
The kind that brings eternal life.
OK, I see, maybe, I think.
What do you think?
I think the bread of life is a life-sustaining relationship with Jesus Christ.
If Jesus is my daily portion—like manna in the desert for God’s Chosen People—then I will know real life.
That’s better than turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving.
Or a BLT with ice tea under a shade tree on a sunny day.
The bread of life.
It’s not just for breakfast anymore.
[Both begin to exit continuing to talk as they walk.]
This is so making me hungry.
Yes, and maybe a turkey sandwich.
With mayo, lettuce, tomato, pepper…
I’m starved….[Conversation fades out.]
Monday, December 19, 2016
Cast: 1 person—adult or youth—who does not mind scurrying around on the stage.
Equipment: Wireless microphone. Costume optional.
Church mouse comes dragging onto stage, rubbing eyes, having been awakened too early.
Man, I don’t know what happened this morning. Usually, I am something of a nocturnal creature scurrying about while everyone else is gone or sleeping. But this morning—this morning—everyone was up early and shouting and singing.
I had just nodded off after a fair night’s sniffing around and the next thing I know somebody is singing He arose the victor from the dark domain. That will shock you worse than mistaking dryer lint for cotton candy.
Who woke up these people and why are they so happy this early in the morning? And He lives forever with his saints to reign. That tune is etched in my memory now.
I don’t know who this Christ person is, but he seems to attract a lot of people that I don’t see around here for the rest of the year; well, some of them show up for the Christmas play but mostly just once a year to come and wake me up before the sun rises.
[Yawning and stretching.]
I could sure use a cup of coffee and some chocolate rabbit ears right now. It is kind of strange that every year when they have this wake me up deal, there are always pieces of chocolate bunnies everywhere. I guess it’s worth losing a couple of hours of sleep to score a mega sugar rush.
Then there is always the candy that I find in plastic eggs that roll someplace out of sight. I was told that my great, great, great, great grandfather mouse used to find real eggs died all sorts of colors and he would eat on those for days. Now, it’s all pretty much a plastic and sugar fest.
I wish that I understood this day a little better. I have been walking around singing, He arose, He arose, Hallelujah, Christ Arose for about two hours now and I don’t understand it. It’s a catching tune but can it mean what I think it does?
Are they really talking about somebody coming back to life after they died?
That would be incredible.
That would be impossible.
That would be a reason to get up early in the morning and sing!
But if that really happened and it really meant something to these people, wouldn't they be celebrating this resurrection thing every day?
[Yawning and stretching again.]
This morning they were singing like they would live forever with this Jesus person as if death had no power over them. If that was what I believed, I would get up early and sing about it every day. Really, it would be like an all you can eat buffet of life.
But I am a mouse. What do I know about his day other than chocolate bunnies and eggs? I think it is kind of sad that some people only know about bunnies and eggs when there is all of this singing they could do instead.
But if this special Sunday is really about having all the life you want because of this person named Jesus, wouldn’t these people have invited all of their friends and neighbors? Wouldn’t that be some really good news to share with everyone?
I’m glad all of those people were singing and awakened me. I hope that they do live forever because of Jesus, and I hope I can find an abandoned cup of coffee somewhere.
[Begins to exit rubbing eyes, yawning, and stretching. Suddenly, mouse sniffs and catches an odor.]
Coffee, please let that be coffee.
[Exits towards aroma.]
Friday, December 16, 2016
Yeast and Mustard
Cast: Older man and woman (Gene and Patsy) seated in car at drive-in. One young carhop with order to deliver at the end of the skit.
Set: Two chairs with something in front such as a music stand to use as dashboard and to hide notes so that lines do not have to be memorized.
Patsy: So burgers at the drive-in is taking me out for my birthday these days?
Gene: It’s alfredo dining. That makes it fancy.
Patsy: I think you mean alfresco.
Gene: Why can’t they just call it eating with your windows down?
Patsy: Gene, what do you want?
Gene: I can’t find it on the menu.
Gene: The Kingdom of Heaven Burger on a yeast bun with mustards seeds.
Gene: The Kingdom of Heaven Burger. Jesus said that I would like it.
Patsy: Since when has Jesus been giving you advice on what to eat?
Gene: It’s in the Bible. He said we would like the Kingdom of Heaven and it would have yeast and mustard seed.
Patsy: He said the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed.
Gene: Seems like a pretty small kingdom.
Patsy: That’s the point of the parable.
Gene: That Jesus is downsizing?
Patsy: No. That the kingdom of Heaven grows inside of us. It starts out small but continues to grow as we grow more and more in God’s grace.
Gene: Like the little mustard seed grows into a great big plant.
Patsy: Yes. I think you’ve got it.
Gene: That’s one of them pair of bulls that Jesus is always bringing up every time he wants to tell a story.
Patsy: That’s a parable.
Gene: If it’s a pair, then there are two bulls.
Patsy: I give up.
Gene: I still can’t find it on the menu.
Gene: The yeast bun.
Patsy: Gene, unless it is a flatbread, it probably has yeast in it.
Gene: In all of it?
Patsy: That’s the way yeast works. You mix it in the flour and it ends up all throughout the dough.
Gene: Not just in one part.
Patsy: That wouldn’t make much sense would it. It is sort of like if you only had the Kingdom of Heaven in part of your life. God wants to be living in you all the time and you living in his kingdom every day.
Gene: I’ll take a Route 66 Dr. Pepper too.
Patsy: I think that they have Route 44 drinks here.
Gene: But there are 66 books in the Bible and they should have a drink to go with that.
Patsy: Good luck with that.
Gene: Want to hear the yeast and mustard seed verse?
Patsy: You didn’t bring your Bible.
Gene: Yes, I did. I have the Bible App on my phone. Here it is. [Holds up old style phone.]
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
Patsy: You can’t read the Bible on that phone.
Gene: Yes, I can. It’s one of those smart-alec phones.
Patsy: The only smart…
Gene: And it has an app for ordering food too. I already ordered before we got here.
[Carhops arrives with order.]
Let’s see. I have 2 Kingdom of Heaven value meals, that’s on a yeast roll with mustard seeds and two Route 66 Dr. Peppers. Enjoy your alfredo meal.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Apples and Acorns
Cast: Two actors, any age and any gender.
Set: Any stage where a little water can be spilled.
First actor walks up with a partially full glass of water in hand and a bottle of water in his/her back pocket. These will come into play later in the skit. The second actor has about 15 seconds alone on stage before being joined by the second. He/she is walking around as if looking up at a tree for fruit. He/she occasionally looks on the ground and picks up feet and picks out acorns.
What’s ya doin’?
Looking for ripe apples?
Good. I would have been surprised if you did.
Yes. That’s an Oak tree.
You don’t say. When does it put out apples?
I do say and it doesn’t. It does acorns. See you are standing on a bunch of them.
Those crunchy sounding things?
Yes. Those are acorns.
But I want to pick some apples.
Then you need to find an apple tree.
That’s how it works, huh?
That’s exactly how it works.
I guess that explains why I couldn’t find any figs on that thorn bush last week.
Same principle except that literally comes out of the Bible.
You don’t say.
I do say. You didn’t try to pick any grapes from briars, did you?
Just wanted to see how close to the original example you got.
Jesus said that a good tree doesn’t give bad fruit and a bad tree can't give good fruit. You would no more go looking for figs on a thorn bush than you would grapes in a briar patch.
Jesus was into horticulture, huh?
Actually, he just used examples that people could relate to easily.
Why do people need to know about grapes and briars? I thought Jesus was about life.
He was and is! He said whatever you have in your heart is what will come out as your fruit. If you are filled with hate, then that’s what people will see as your fruit. If it’s goodness, then that’s what will come out as your fruit.
Cool. I guess. I don’t know that I quite get it.
[Takes water bottle out of back pocket.] Here, hold this glass. [Tops off with water]. I want to get it very full.
You did. It’s all the way to the top.
Good. [Grabs shoulder and pulls along for a few steps.] Now come with me.
Hey! I am spilling this all over.
Exactly. Whatever is stored up inside is what comes out when you encounter the world. It’s you fruit. So if your heart is filled with love, then love is what comes out as your fruit.
[Cocking hear to reveal receipt of an epiphany.] And if your heart is filled with orneriness, then orneriness is what comes out as your fruit.
Ouch! You do understand.
I guess that I had better find an apple tree and keep my heart full of love. That’s what I want to come out the next time I spill my cup.
Me too. Love, maybe seasoned with a little oneriness…
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Verse of the Day
Cast: Two men or two women, obviously, friends. One is visiting the other in his/her office.
Set: Chair, desk, and phone. Could be done without office furniture and just a cell phone.
As scene begins both actors are standing ready to converse.
You reading the verse of the day?
I love the verse of the day. It gets me off to a great start. Wouldn’t miss it.
[Answers phone.] Hey preacher, how you doing? Thanks for returning my call. What it was is that those guys that you have doing the offering… Ushers, that sounds good, but those guys keep turning my check over before they passed the plate. I put in a good amount and I want people to see who keeps this place running. So if you would, tell them to give me maximum exposure, especially if you are not going to post it in the newsletter. [Hangs up.]
What was today’s verse?
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. That’s Matthew 6:1. Great verse!
Yes it is. What’s you working on?
I am writing a prayer for Sunday. Preacher told me that I could pray, so I am writing a doozy. This may take half the service.
Wow. That’s something.
Not really, just copy and paste a bunch of holy sounding words and keep on talking. Copy and paste and keep on bringing it.
I see. Do you remember what the verse of the day was for last Sunday?
Of course. I love the verse of the day. Let’s see, it was Matthew 6:7. Matthew is getting some good VOD time.
Verse of the Day time.
OK. Do you remember what Matthew 6:7 said?
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Man, that is good stuff.
Yes it is. How has your week been?
Yesterday, I just about pulled out all of my hair worrying about three big projects that need to come together like right now. I felt lousy and helpless and couldn’t sleep when I got home.
Did you pray about these things that worried you?
Pray! Who has time to pray in the middle of a crises?
Didn’t do your verse of the day for yesterday either, did you?
Of course I did. I always make time for that. I always have time for that. It was Philippians 4:6-7.
What did the verse say?
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Now that’s some good Bible there, even though it was two verses instead of one.
But a very complete thought.
Oh yeah. I love me some verse of the day. That one was in the New King James Version. I love the verse of the day.
Want to know what tomorrow’s verse is?
You know already?
I know what yours is. I can feel it.
Really? Let me have it.
I won’t but it will.
It’s James 1:22.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Really? I love the verse of the day but this one doesn’t do anything for me. I guess some of them just don’t apply.
Maybe the next day’s will be better?
Let me have it.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Win some. Lose some. Just doesn’t register with me.
You don’t say. [Shaking head in disbelief during exit.] Gotta go I have some of God’s words to put into practice.
Good luck with that. I have a prayer to write. Copy, paste, copy paste, copy…
Monday, December 12, 2016
Cast: 1 man or woman. This will be monologue and pantomime with very few props. Expressions and over exaggeration essential.
Set: Any stage. Set is to be a living room. 1 chair required for sitting. Doors and windows to be pantomimed. 1 Box containing a long scarf setting on audience side of invisible door.
[Stares as if looking out a window.]
Would you look at those yahoos. I can’t believe it. Who taught them? I would like to give them a piece of my mind. What I ought to do is get my hands around the neck of that one. He ‘s got to be the ring leader.
[Sits and picks up newspaper, opens, and flips to a spot to read.]
Morons! You think they could get one thing right, but noooooooooo they can’t. Someone out to choke them.
[Looks stage front-left.] What’s that noise at the door?
[Opens door and sees a package.] How did that get there?
[Looks up.] Maybe they are delivering by drones. I heard about that. [Takes package inside and closes door.] Let’s see what we have here.
[Opens package to reveal a scarf.] Oh that looks nice.
[Wraps around neck. Models the scarf in a pretend mirror.] Now I am styling.
[Turns quickly towards window and looks out intently.] Oh those people have another thing coming. Who do they think they are to do that in this neighborhood? They better hope that I don’t get my hands on them.
[Reaches up to grab scarf as if it is choking—actually tightens it a bit to make it look tighter around neck.] What’s happening?
[Gasping a little.] It’s too tight.
[Looking out window again.] They are still at it. Who do they think they are?
[Scarf gets even tighter.] Why is this thing choking me? Who sent me this?
[Picks up package and finds invoice.] Matthew 7 Scarf - - Non-returnable. What in the world is this?
[Looks out window again.] I am going to wring their necks!
[Grabs neck almost passing out. Sits in chair to catch breath. Reads back of invoice.]
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
[Catching breath as scarf loosens.]
I don’t like this. I don’t like this one bit. Not the fashion mind you. I don’t like applying the same standards of judgment to myself that I apply to others.
But it makes sense. It makes all kinds of sense. How can I walk around all day in God’s grace—forgiveness that I didn’t deserve but received anyway—and judge everyone else so capriciously.
[Breathing easier now.] I have read that verse a hundred times—really. I have even quoted it to others. Ooooooh, that might have been hypocritical, but I have never really applied it to myself.
I think that I am going to be a little more thoughtful before I judge another person and I am most definitely going to be very careful about anything that shows up on my doorstep delivered by a drone.
[Stands, fixes scarf, looks in mirror, smiles and exits.]
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Cast: Two people, men or women, sitting on a curb or at a table. One of the two has head in hands feeling discouraged. The second of the two is listening and nodding agreement.
Set: Anywhere that two people can sit side by side—a curb, a table, a bench, etc.
This evangelism stuff must not be for me.
Yeah it just seems that very few get it and respond.
Path, rocks, weeds, fertile.
Whatever. It’s like some just don’t understand. I think maybe they think this life is all about them and what they can get.
Whatever. Others seem to sort of get it but don’t dig into this really good news much. They listen for a while then they are gone.
Yeah, OK. Others seem to hear and think it’s really great stuff and the next thing you know they are too busy to move closer to God. You think they are ready to profess their faith but they get swallowed up in the busyness of their lives.
You’re not much of a conversationalist, are you?
I prefer to consider myself succinct.
Whatever. There are a few that do receive this good news and respond by claiming this wonderful and free gift of salvation by professing Jesus as Lord and Savior.
What is it with you and these one word replies?
You are the sower that Jesus talked about in one of his parables.
The seeds planted on the path are not going to grow. That’s where people walk not where they plant crops.
The ones in the rocks seem to get started but there is no place for the roots to go. They fizzle out quickly.
I can attest to that.
Some get planted among the weeds and the weeds—the busyness of the day—seems to choke out the eternal message of hope and salvation.
That one seems the most common.
But some do land on fertile soil and produce fantastic crops.
I don’t know if I like this parable or not.
Does that mean that some people are the path and will never understand? Or some or rocks and only get it a little but can’t dig in to really grasp the good news? Or that some will never give up the busyness of the world and will never be saved?
You could look at it that way, or perhaps instead of each place where the seed was planted being a group of people, what if we saw it as the condition of their hearts?
As I belong to this Whosoever Will May Come bunch of people, I like that better than saying some people never had a chance.
Thought that might hit home.
So, should I just reach out to people who are fertile ground?
No. That presumes that you are the only person or force at work here.
You are telling me not to discount the work of the Holy Spirit.
Exactly. The Holy Spirit can move a hardened heart to one of good soil in an instant.
What about when the word falls on good soil?
Water? I don’t remember that in the parable.
It’s not, but it’s in the Bible. Just hang in there, preach the good news, and don’t carry the burden of how people respond all on your shoulders.
But when they get it, water. I’ve got it.
And if they struggle, fertilize, but that’s a different parable.
I am good with just this one for now. I am going to keep sowing seeds of faith. I can handle that.
His yoke is easy and his burden is light. Don’t be discouraged. You are on the right track. Feeling better?
[Getting up and walking off.]
Absolutely! Why am I sitting here when I could be sowing seeds?
Nice talking to you as well.