This is a collection of short skits written mainly for church groups. By design they require little rehearsal, may be read from notes hidden in the set, and are very short--generally 2 or 3 minutes. Use them to bless your congregation or other group. Note: Tate Publishing is out of business; however, most of Tom's title's are available in self-published format at Amazon.com.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Note: This skit is substantially longer than most on this site. It should take about 15 minutes and could be the entire message for a service.
Cast: Two friends with some knowledge of the Bible.
Set: Any set, even two lecterns or pulpits. This is a fast-paced dialogue but notes will
surely be required for most participants.
Notes can be hidden in the set or the set can be set for debate where use of notes is obvious and expected.
but few speak Latin these days.
It means the Law of Retribution or
We need laws
for vengeance? It seems that the desire
for revenge is seeded deeply within the human heart. Who would come up with laws about revenge?
Really? God had to make laws to teach us revenge?
He gave laws to limit the extent of revenge. It seems that man’s heart was not yet ready
for the perfect love of its Creator. The
law limited the extent of the revenge exacted.
like an eye for an eye?
Tooth for a
Right on the money again.
someone lost a hand?
They may take a hand from the
For a foot?
What about a
A burn returned.
if one takes the life of another.
Then the law of retribution affords a
life may be taken in return.
Where do you
find these laws?
This set comes from the 21st
Chapter of Exodus.
I guess that
pretty much kept things out of court.
could there be?
Two men are fighting and they bump
into a pregnant woman and the baby comes out but there is no further
damage. They must pay what the husband
demands and the court says is fair.
making this up as you go along.
Same chapter in Exodus.
At least the
secular courts have some sanity to them and don’t follow these guidelines.
Actually, they do—especially those in
the western world.
You mean I
can get sued for an arm and a leg.
I have never
seen a judgment like that rendered in this country.
You have, but didn’t recognize
it. Up to a point early in the second
millennia after Christ’s death and resurrection there were some interesting
developments in English law—where we get most of our common law.
An eye for an eye and a foot for a
foot makes for a nation of half blind people with a limp.
is too arid even for my taste.
So the judges of the land started
equating a foot with a monetary value.
They assigned a monetary value to a hand, a tooth, and even a life.
So every man
does have his price.
Now who’s a little on the dry side?
seems sort of odd.
More so that cutting off hands and
plucking out eyes?
The early English name for this was Wergild or Wergeld.
words nobody uses any more.
It means Blood Gold. Literally it was
the giving of gold or its equivalent for the life or limb taken by an
offender. It was part of both Germanic
and English jurisprudence.
I wonder if
that’s where we came up with the tooth fairy leaving money under the pillow.
getting a quarter for losing a tooth.
No, no, no…You got a quarter? I only
got a dime.
it. The rates have gone up a bunch since
you lost any teeth.
I don’t think the tooth fairly has
anything with assigning monetary value to body parts.
that we have modified this whole compensation thing quite a bit these days in
the good ole US of A.
Yes and in several ways. First we have separated the criminal and
civil law. One for punishment and one
We also have expanded the concept of
damages beyond reasonable compensation for actual damages and added something
we call punitive damages.
like the person gets eight hundred dollars to cover the doctor’s visit for spilling
a cup of hot coffee on their own leg and eight million to teach the fast food
restaurant that didn’t warn its customers that its coffee was hot as lesson
they will remember.
Exactly. That latter part is known as punitive
Seems like a
big step backwards.
there be some boundaries on what people can get when something bad happens to
Some would say so. Today the debate is called tort reform.
time somebody did something!
Actually, God did something very
early. Remember Lex Talionis?
limits on what a damaged party is entitled to as far as retaliation. Wow, the pendulum surely swings back and
forth on this one.
So I guess
that God wants us to go back to an eye for an eye?
God wants to bring the pendulum to a
like a compromise? Stop it somewhere in
the middle. God compromising? Who’d a thunk it?
Not a compromise—a revelation.
It’s a cardio
Some might call it a cardio
that another vocabulary word is heading my way?
That’s one of the words we derive
from its Greek roots.
Divine love, from the Divine Heart,
or another word you have heard often—grace.
How did we
get from an eye for an eye to grace?
You mean the
teachings of Jesus, especially those from the Sermon on the Mount.
Yes, but I also mean Jesus without
any qualifying adjectives, adverbs, or otner quantification.
The world in all of its sin and
rejection of God and his love deserved to be judged. It—we deserved to be condemned.
I guess the
law of an eye for an eye would be
more than we can imagine on a world wide scale—more than I want to imagine
We deserved condemnation but received
love. We received love that we did not
earn, deserve, or in any way merit. We
just did not deserve either God’s love or his forgiveness.
But He gave
So what do
we do now?
That’s a question that all Christians
should ask themselves every day. How do
I respond to God’s grace?
Let God finish the good work that he
has begun in us. Let him make us complete. Let him perfect us.
And how does
this tie in with an eye for an eye?
We return hate with love.
I was trying
to trick you.
It’s a foolproof formula.
So much so that even those without
God know to return love for love.
love: That’s about all I can manage
without getting out of my comfort zone.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right
cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone
wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42
Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to
borrow from you.
Love for Enemies
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on
the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax
collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own
people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.