Aim: To explore a Bible passage through the use of drama. Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills Christian Faith D1
• Table ready for breakfast
• 3 chairs
• Sign with “Zac’s for Tax’
• Pair stepladders
Activity 1 - Christmas Night
Aim: To tell the Christmas story from the shepherd’s perspective.
Cast: Father, a shepherd: Andrew, his elder son: Philip, his younger son.
Scene: Father and Andrew seated at the breakfast table, both waiting to start.
Father: (raised voice) Philip! Get a move on... breakfast’s ready.
Andrew: It’ll take more than that to wake him. He didn’t go to bed until the early hours of this morning.
Father: What was he doing until then?
Andrew: Search me. I was settling down the sheep for the night, when he comes running up, mutters something about Bethlehem, grabs a lamb and goes running off again with some of his friends.
Father: Not to Bethlehem, I hope. You know the scrape he got into last time with those Roman soldiers. (calls again) Philip ... for the last time!
(Philip appears, rather sleepy)
Andrew: You made it then. AND what were YOU up to last night?
Philip: (excited) We went to Bethlehem. We had a FANTASTIC time.
Andrew: Here comes trouble. The Romans won’t let you off a second time.
Philip: No it was nothing like that. I would like to tell you about it but we were asked not to say anything.
Andrew: That’s it. knew it. We’re all going to be arrested and thrown into some stinking cell.
Father: Wait a minute. Can’t you tell us anything about what you were up to?
Philip: (hesitates) Well, we did go to Bethlehem. You didn’t mind me leaving you with the sheep, did you?
Andrew: Oh no! it was a quiet night really, hardly anything happened. Just 4 lions, 6 wolves and 3 foxes to fight off, single handed.
Philip: Gosh! Really!
Andrew: No, thinking about it. It was 3 lions, 4 wolves and a bear.
Philip: A bear! You’re not serious.
Father: No, he’s being stupid, just like you running off to Bethlehem in the middle of the night.
Philip: Do you want to know what happened, or don’t you?
Andrew: We might as well.
Philip: I was sitting on the hillside when suddenly there were bright lights and I could hear singing.
Father: Roman soldiers, I expect. Another of their wild parties.
Philip: No. It was singing like I’ve never heard before. You must have heard it, Andrew.
Andrew: Not, not a thing. I was too busy watching the sheep, remember.
Philip: Well. The singing died away and these angels appeared.
Father: Angels, angels? What are they?
Philip: Angels, you know. They’re .. .er.. beings. They bring messages from God.
Father: Messages from God? Why not the prophets or even The rabbis?
Andrew: We haven’t had a decent prophet for centuries. And nobody listens to the anything the rabbis say.
Father: You mean YOU don’t listen to the rabbis.
Andrew: And I suppose you do?
Philip: Shall I go on?
Father: Yes. We’re listening.
Philip: Well, The angels told us to go to Bethlehem because that night a king had been born.
Father: King! We’ve got one already. Not that he’s much good.
Philip: This king will be different. He will rule over a kingdom of peace and love.
Andrew: Peace and love! I can see the Romans going for that.
Father: And did you find this baby king?
Philip: Yes, just like the angels said, in a stable.
Andrew: In a stable!
Philip: Yes. Lying in a cattle manger, all wrapped up.
Andrew: (patronisingly) My dear child, kings aren’t born in stables.
Philip: This one was, with all the animals looking on.
Father: (muttering) Downright unhygienic if you ask me.
Philip: He seemed happy enough. And his parents were really pleased with the lamb I gave them.
Andrew: So that’s what happened to it.
Father: You gave him a lamb!
Philip: It seemed the right sort of present.
Andrew: Couldn’t you have found something smaller and less expensive?
Philip: I’m sorry. I didn’t have anything else to take. And I thought you would understand.
Father: You see beings in the sky; hear voices; go running off to Bethlehem in the middle of the night to give a lamb to a king born in a stable. Of course I understand. Come on, let’s go and look at the sheep. (father leaves)
Philip: You think I’m making it up. You believe me, don’t you, Andrew?
Andrew: Every word. Come on, we’ve got work to do. (Andrew and Philip leave together)
• Having performed the sketch discuss the points that it raised.
• Why were the family sceptical at Philip’s news?
• Are people today equally sceptical at the Good News of Jesus?
Activity 2 - The Unforgiving Servant
Aim: To perform a drama based on the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18: 23-34), In order to stimulate discussion and explore the meaning of the passage.
Cast: Reader One, Reader Two,
One: There was once a king
Two: Who decided to check his servants’ accounts.
One: In case one of them
Two: Had made a mistake,
One: Was not quite up to date,
Two: Had lost some money
One: Or something?
Two: He ordered all the account books to be brought.
Two: He went
Two: And finally
Two: To his horror, the king discovered
One: That one servant
Two: Had been less than honest.
One: And had misappropriated
Two: Miss a what?
Two: Where does she fit in?
One: Where does who fit in?
Two: This Miss Appropriated.
One: It’s not Miss Anybody. (stressing each syllable) Mis-a-ppro-pri-a-ted. It means illegally borrowed.
Two: You mean stolen.
Two: Then why didn’t you say that in the first place?
One: Okay. The king discovered that one servant had stolen
Two: TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS!
One: The servant was summoned to the king
Two: And ordered to repay the money he had stolen
One: The servant had to admit that he could not pay back the money.
Two: “Very well”,
One: Said the king,
Two: You will be sold as a slave, and your wife and your children. (Pause) In fact everything you have will be sold to make good what you have taken from me.”
One: “Your majesty”,
Two: Replied the servant,
One: “I beg you, be patient with me and I will pay back every penny.”
Two: The king felt sorry for the servant and forgave him the debt.
One: The whole debt?
Two: The WHOLE debt.
One: He didn’t have to pay back anything
Two: Not a single penny.
One: Did he tell his friends how generously he had been treated?
Two: Did he show how grateful he was to be free of his debt?
One: Not this one.
Two: He went and found a fellow-servant who owed him a few pounds.
One: He grabbed hold of him
Two: And demanded his money.
One: The servant begged for time to pay.
Two: But the servant whom the king had let off wanted his money
One: So he had the debtor thrown into prison until he paid up.
Two: When the king heard what had happened,
One: He ordered the first servant to be brought to him.
Two: “You worthless slave. I let you off the whole debt simply because you asked me. You should also have shown mercy to your fellow-servant. If you will not forgive, then neither will I.”
One: The servant was taken away to jail,
Two: And stayed locked up,
One: Until he had paid back
Two: Everything that he owed the king.
• After performing the sketch ask the young people what the purpose of the parable is.
Tips / Advice:
• The script need not be learned, it is intended to be read.
• The script can be changed to include more readers. The direct speech of the king and the servant need to be spoken by the same readers.
Activity 3 - Come Down Zacchaeus
Aim: To use drama to study the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus.
Tell the group that this drama is about Zacchaeus’ meeting with Jesus in Luke 19:2-8.
Cast Zacchaeus, 1st Man, 2nd Man, Jesus.
Scene: Zacchaeus is seated at a table with notebooks and pencils. Large sign displaying “Zac’s for Tax”. Pair of stepladders nearby.
Zacchaeus: (speaking to a queue offstage) Now then, no pushing out there. You’ll all get a chance to pay your taxes. Who’s first? (enter 1st man carrying a small bag of money)
1st Man: Let’s get it over with. How much?
Zacchaeus: Patience. We’ve got to get it right. It wouldn’t do to let you pay too much, or too little. Now then, what’s your occupation?
1st Man: Innkeeper.
Zacchaeus: Innkeeper eh. Business is good, I twst. Plenty of customers?
1st Man: One or two stay overnight. The rest are mostly sightseers.
Zacchaeus: Sightseers. To an inn?
1st Man: The stables actually, everybody wants to see the place where the three kings visited. We’re in the Good Inn Guide, you know,
Zacchaeus: No I didn’t. Must make a note of that (writes) Do you, er, charge these sightseers?
1st Man: Business is business, you understand.
Zacchaeus: Of course. And how long have you been open for sightseers.
1st Man: (proudly) Thirty years.
Zacchaeus: Really! Thirty years of sightseers at one shekel....
1st Man: (showing off) Two shekels.
Zacchaeus: (gleefully) Two shekels a head, that works out at, er, um (writing it all down). No overheads, all clear profit. You owe 600 shekels for taxes.
1st Man: (shocked) 600 shekels. I haven’t got that much.
Zacchaeus: How much have you got?
1st Man: 400 shekels.
Zacchaeus: That’II do. Hand it over. (Man hands over cash and leaves). Next. (enter 2nd man carrying a small bag of money) And what do you do for a living?
2nd Man: I used to be a farmer but now I’m a carpenter.
Zacchaeus: Oh, good!
2nd Man: Is that good?
Zacchaeus: Oh yes. It’s very good. As a former farmer you come under paragraph 3 of subsection 4 of clause 8, AND section 9 of clause 10. So you are liable for land tax, ox tax and cart tax.
2nd Man: But I don’t have a cart.
Zacchaeus: Doesn’t matter you still pay. Now where was I? Oh yes, carpenter. That’s easy you come under the whole of section 7 (consults his book). So you pay house tax, roof tax, wood tax and tin tax.
2nd Man: But I’ve not had much work for ages.
Zacchaeus: Why not, aren’t you any good?
2nd Man: The best. That’s why I’m under exclusive contract to the Romans to build their crosses for them.
Zacchaeus: I expect you’ll get some work soon, Still, since we’re both working for the same outfit, I’m sure we can work something out.
2nd Man: Thank you your worship. How much will I have to pay?
Zacchaeus: Not too much, I’ve nearly finished. For you, a special offer, 300 shekels.
2nd Man: 300 shekels! Is that the best you can do?
Zacchaeus: That’s my final offer. It you don’t like it, you can always try somewhere else.
2nd Man: No. It’s not worth it. You tax collectors are all the same (hands over cash and leaves).
Zacchaeus: Next (pause, louder) Next (pause) Come along I haven’t got all day. Funny, I’m sure there was a queue out there. I’ll go and see (climbs stepladder) It’s Jesus, the preacher from Galilee. (enter Jesus)
Jesus: (firmly) Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I want to talk to you.
Zacchaeus: Talk to me? (comes down)
Jesus: Yes. I want to come to your house for tea.
Zacchaeus: To my house? (excited) Jesus coming to MY house?
Jesus: That’s right.
Zacchaeus: But I’m not
Jesus: Not what, Zacchaeus?
Zacchaeus: Not quite ready. I’ve got all these taxes to (pause) give back. Four times as much as I’ve collected. I’ll pay it all back.
Jesus: And then you’ll be ready?
Zacchaeus: Oh, yes! (Jesus and Zacchaeus leave together)
Discuss the story.
• How do you think Zacchaeus got himself ready to meet Jesus?
• What would we do if we knew we were to meet Jesus?
• People were surprised that Jesus went to the home of Zacchaeus. Why do you think Jesus went there?
For full details see the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills Christian Faith D1