Daniel Dramas

Here are a series of 5 scripts to retell the story of Daniel and his friends – ideal for use with puppets (with a human narrator):

Part 1

Narrator:       The usual way to start off a story is with the words, ‘Once upon a time’. That’s the usual way to start if a story is made up – but the story you’re about to hear isn’t made up – it really happened! It happened a long time ago, in a land far away, and it happened to a man called Daniel.

Now our story starts a long time before Daniel was born. God made a special promise to a man called Abraham: He promised Abraham that his family would be very large and very great, and that everyone in the world would be blessed through Abraham’s family, who were known as the Israelites.

Later, God sent a man called Moses to lead the Israelites. Moses, and Joshua after him, led the Israelites into a special place called Israel. God said that they could stay in this special land as long as they worshipped and obeyed only Him.

But the Israelites didn’t worship God and didn’t obey God and God couldn’t allow them to stay in the special place He’d given them. So soldiers from Babylon came and took the Israelites away from their homes and their special land and their special city, Jerusalem – they were living in exile in this strange new land of Babylon.

But God still loved His people and He didn’t forget them.

The king of Babylon in those days was a man called King Nebuchadnezzar (phew!)

BRING NEBUCHADNEZZAR OUT

Nebuchadnezzar:  I need some new servants. I want some young, strong men – no-one ugly, please! I want them to come and serve me and learn all about Babylon and our language.

Narrator:                   And so it was that four Israelites were chosen for this new job – their names were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. (BRING THESE GUYS OUT) Daniel and his friends names had special meanings that reminded them of God (Daniel, for example, means that ‘God is my judge’).

Nebuchadnezzar:  Hmmm… I don’t want anyone to worship God – and I don’t want their names to help them remember who God is… I know! We’ll change their names! Daniel can be called Belteshazzar and the other three can be called Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! And I think that from now on, these people can eat the same food as me! It’s lovely special food – my god wants me to eat stuff like this!

Daniel:                       Yes, it might be special food – but it’s the wrong food for us! God has said that there are some foods we’re not allowed to eat, and we’re not allowed to eat food that’s been cooked in the wrong way.

Shadrach:                Yes, we want to do what the living God says, not what Nebuchadnezzar thinks his false god says!

Narrator:                   Daniel and his friends wanted to obey God’s laws so Daniel had a plan…

Daniel:                       Please, can my friends and I just eat vegetables and drink water?

Nebuchadnezzar:  NO!… well… I suppose it’ll make you a bit cheaper to feed. But if you wind up scrawny and unhealthy, you’re dead!

Narrator:                   So that’s what they did. And God made them healthy even though they weren’t eating all the king’s fancy food. In fact, they were the healthiest and the cleverest of all the men and the king chose Daniel and his friends to be his special servants.

God looked after Daniel and his friends – but the story doesn’t end there… you’ll find out what happened next week!

Part 2:

Narrator:                   King Nebuchadnezzar had it all – he had palaces and an army and probably lived in the lap of luxury. However, he had a problem which I’m sure many people here have had from time to time: he was having bad dreams. During the day he was very worried, and at night, he could hardly sleep – he kept dreaming the same dream and it worried him.

Nebuchadnezzar:  Bring me all my wise men and magicians! BRING IN SPARE PUPPETS (THOSE WHO AREN’T D, S, M and A) I want to know what this dream means – but, I also want you to tell me what I have been dreaming!

Wise Man:                How can we tell you what you were dreaming, your majesty?

Nebuchadnezzar:  Well, you’re the wise men! You should just know! If you can’t tell me, I’ll have you all killed!

NEBUCHADNEZZAR LEAVES

Narrator:                   The Wise Men were very worried – they didn’t know what Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed, let alone what it meant! But there were some wise men in the palace who could help – their names were Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. (REMOVE WISE MEN AND BRING UP D, S, M and A and NEBUCHADNEZZAR) Daniel went to see the king…

Daniel:                       I can’t explain your dream – but God can! I will ask Him to help me. (DANIEL RETURNS TO HIS FRIENDS, NEBUCHADNEZZAR LEAVES). Let’s pray to God…

Narrator:                   God told Daniel what the dream was and what it meant so Daniel went back to see the king… (REMOVE S, M and A and RETURN NEBUCHADNEZZAR)

Daniel:                       Your majesty – people couldn’t tell you what your dream was and what it means, but God can! God told me that in your dream you saw a huge statue – its head was gold, its chest and arms were silver, from its waist to its knees, it was bronze, and the bottom of its legs were iron. Its feet were a mixture of iron and clay. In your dream you saw a huge stone hit the feet of the statue and destroy it. This dream tells the future – your kingdom may be big and brilliant but it will end one day – but God’s Kingdom will come one day and it will never end.

Nebuchadnezzar:  WOW! Your God must be the God of gods, and the Lord of lords and the revealer of mysteries because He revealed this mystery! Daniel, you will now have an even more important job – you will be a governor and be in charge of all the wise men!

Narrator:                   Once again, God had rescued Daniel and had showed everyone how wonderful He is!

Part 3:  

Narrator:                   Let’s go back to Babylon and see what’s going to happen with our friends this week – can anyone remember their names? They were members of God’s special people, the Israelites, even though they were living far from home. Can you remember what happened to them before? What was the name of the king?

Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego worshipped God – that means they loved God and put Him first. What can we do to worship God?

BRING OUT SHADRACH, MESHACH and ABEDNEGO

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had a problem. They wanted to worship only God, but in Babylon, people liked to worship all sorts of things – like statues and that sort of thing.

Nebuchadnezzar:  I’ve had an idea! I want a new statue to be built! A lovely golden statue for everyone to worship! Whenever some special music plays, everyone is to bow down and worship the statue – if they don’t, then they will be thrown into the fiery furnace!

Shadrach:                Oh no! We’re in big trouble! We can’t worship this statue because we must only worship the true and living God! But if we don’t worship the statue, we’ll be put in the fiery furnace!

Narrator:                   Suddenly, the music started and people everywhere started to bow down to the statue…. but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn’t! They chose to worship only God, not a silly statue!

Nebuchadnezzar:  LOOK! Those three aren’t worshipping my statue! If you don’t worship my statue then you will be thrown into my furnace – no God can save you there! HAHAHA!

Abednego:                We will trust God – if He wants to rescue us from the furnace, He will!

Narrator:                   The three friends were tied up and put into the furnace…

Nebuchadnezzar:  Wait a minute! And they’re not tied up any more! They’re walking around! The fire isn’t burning them! We put three men in but now there are four men in there! That fourth man looks like a God! Get those men out of there!

Narrator:                   Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out – and they weren’t burned! They didn’t smell like fire, and their clothes and hair weren’t even singed!

Nebuchadnezzar:  Praise Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s God! He has sent his angel and rescued them! They were willing to die rather than disobey God and God has rescued them! Give these men important jobs!

Narrator:                   Once again, God had saved His people! Next week we’ll find out how Daniel’s been getting on…

Part 4:

Narrator:                   Welcome back to Babylon – God’s people have been brought here, out of their own land – but God still loved them and still helped them, especially whenever the king caused trouble for them – does anyone remember the name of the king?

Well, God showed Nebuchadnezzar that He is the one true God but, over time, Nebuchadnezzar died and his son Belshazzar became king.  But Belshazzar hadn’t learned any of his father’s lessons…

Belshazzar:              I don’t want to worship the Israelites’ God – I’m going to hold a party and worship gods made of gold and silver and wood and stone…

Narrator:                   So Belshazzar held his party and many people came. In fact, he was so rude that he even used cups that were taken from the temple where the one true God was worshipped! That’s like someone stealing from our church and using the things in a bad way!

Suddenly, a hand appeared and wrote some words on the wall – Belshazzar was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his feet gave way!

Belshazzar:              Bring me my wise men! If they can tell me what these mysterious words mean they can have an important job in my kingdom and fancy clothes and jewellery to wear!

Narrator:                   The Wise Men came in but no-one could explain the words. However, the queen remembered someone who probably could explain them – Daniel! (BRING DANIEL IN) Daniel looked at the words.

Belshazzar:              If you can tell me what these words mean you will be the third most powerful man in the kingdom!

Daniel:                       Your majesty, these words came because you refused to worship God! These words mean that God thinks you are not fit to be king. God will take your kingdom away!

Narrator:                   Daniel thus became the third most powerful man in the land… and that very night Belshazzar died! Darius the Mede took over as king… and next week Daniel finds himself in his biggest challenge to date!

Part 5:

Narrator:                   God’s people were living in the land of Babylon. One of these people was a man called Daniel. (BRING DANIEL OUT) Daniel was a very important man in the land, but he also loved and obeyed God. He also prayed to God three times every day without fail! He prayed in front of the window in his room.

(BRING OUT THREE MORE PUPPETS) Meanwhile, there were some people who were very jealous of Daniel . They hoped that Daniel would make a mistake and that they could get him into trouble with the king…

Man 1:                       This is hopeless! Daniel is too honest! He does whatever the king asks – we’ll never get him into trouble with the king!

Man 2:                       I know! Look! He prays three times every day – let’s use that to get him in trouble! (REMOVE DANIEL, BRING KING OUT)

Narrator:                   The men went to the king…

Man 2:                       Your majesty – we’ve had an idea! For the next 30 days, why don’t you make a new law? You should say that people can only pray to you! If they pray to anyone else, you should throw them to the lions!

Darius:                       Good idea!

Narrator:                   So that’s what happened – a new law was passed and if anyone prayed to anyone other than Darius, they would be thrown to the lions and killed! (BRING DANIEL OUT) But this didn’t stop Daniel praying to God! He knew it was wrong to pray to anyone other than God so he kept on praying at his window.

(BRING ON MAN 1 and 2)

Man 1:                       Haha! Look! Daniel’s still praying to his God! Let’s tell the king!

(BRING ON THE KING TOO)

Man 2:                       Your majesty! Daniel has been praying to his God and not to you! You must have him thrown into the lions and killed!

Darius:                       You tricked me! Daniel is a good worker! But the law must be kept… (regretfully) Put Daniel into the lions’ Den…

(REMOVE ALL APART FROM DANIEL)

Narrator:                   Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den…

(REMOVE ALL – BRING KING BACK)

Narrator:                   All night Darius couldn’t eat or sleep – he was so worried about Daniel. Next morning, the king ran to the den and found… DANIEL WAS STILL ALIVE! (BRING DANIEL OUT). God had rescued Daniel again! He closed the lions’ mouths!

Darius:                       Daniel’s God is the living God! His kingdom will last forever! He rescues and He saves and He performs signs and wonders – He has even rescued Daniel from the lions!

Narrator:                   And he was right!

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Paul and Barnabus the gods!

Acts 13 and 14 : the Missionary journeys of Paul and Barnabus

Talk about jobs that the children want to do when they leave school.

In the Bible we read about a man called Paul:  he was well-known for hating Christians and tried to have them arrested, until the day that Jesus stopped him on the road to Damascus and changed his life. From then on Paul started to live for Jesus and even got a new job himself – he became a missionary : someone who travels throughout the world, telling people about Jesus so that they might also choose to follow Him. Paul travelled with his friend Barnabus and this is a story from one of their travels:

They arrived in a place called Lystra and there they met a man whose feet were crippled – he had never been able to walk. He came to listen to Paul and Barnabus speak and Paul could see that the man really believed in Jesus so he shouted, “Stand Up!” – the man jumped to his feet and started to walk around, completely healed!

Everyone who saw it was amazed and they started to shout: “The gods have turned into humans and have come down to us!” They thought that Paul and Barnabus were Hermes and Zeus, two of the Greek gods.  The priests from the temple heard about this and wanted to sacrifice bulls to Paul and Barnabus!

How do you think Paul and Barnabus felt about this? (Take suggestions)

They were HORRIFIED! They were so upset that they tore their clothes! They knew that without Jesus we can do nothing – there was no way that Paul could have healed that man’s feet by himself; he needed Jesus to do it.

You see, that’s the real job of a missionary – in fact it’s the job of any Christian – to point people to Jesus. It’s like we’re a big pointing finger, pointing away from ourselves and pointing towards Him. We don’t want to say, “Look at me, aren’t I great!?”, we want to say, “Look at Jesus, isn’t He brilliant?!” In every place they went Paul and Barnabus told people about Jesus – even in places where it was difficult and their lives were in danger.

So instead of being happy to get all this attention they shouted: Why are you doing this? We are humans just like you. Please give up all this foolishness. Turn to the living God, who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them.”

They could hardly get the people to understand but they were allowed to leave without having a sacrifice presented to them.

So if you’re a Christian think about this important job we all have in pointing people to Jesus. And it doesn’t always have to be in words (although words are best) – Remember Jesus is the One who has made us who we are so sometimes just in how you treat people, the things you say or don’t say, the places you go all show that you’re different and they all point people to the One that you follow.

And if you’re not a Christian, look around you – many people are pointing to Jesus. Why not find out more about Him?

The Good Samaritan / The joy of learning

Learning and being taught is a wonderful thing, and something that we take for granted – but it’s something we should give thanks for. Education gives you opportunities and abilities that many boys and girls don’t get, and learning is something you’ll be doing for the rest of your life. Here are four things I’ve recently learned:

(You could do a google “factoid” search to make this more applicable to yourself)

A new prime number was discovered in 2017! But it’s 24,000,000 digits long – 2^74,207,281 – 1

The world’s favourite colour is blue.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12345678987654321

The country Russia is bigger than the planet Pluto

Every day in school is filled with opportunities – each day is a brand new start! What opportunities will come your way today I wonder as you learn and do new things?

When Jesus was here on Earth He was usually called “Teacher” because that’s what He came to do – He came to teach people like you and me. But He didn’t usually teach maths or geography or about colours – Jesus came to teach us how to live, and He often did that by telling stories. I’m going to tell one of His most famous stories, and we’ll do that with some volunteers (bring volunteers up to act the story out).

Once there was a Jewish man, travelling down a road when he was attacked by some robbers and left for dead.

He lay there, injured, maybe dying, and wondered who might help him.

Then, along came a holy man – this man was terribly holy and he was hurrying to the temple (which was like a church). When he saw the poor injured man, he thought – Ugh! That man is covered in dirt and blood! He will make me dirty and late for the temple. Someone else can look after him. And he walked on by!

Then, along came another man. This man was also a holy man except he was terribly awfully dreadfully holy and he was also rushing to the temple. He saw the poor injured man and he thought – oh yuk! That man is filthy and bloody and probably dead – he’ll make me filth and bloody and the people who hurt him may still be about and they’ll hurt me too – and I’ll be late for the temple! Someone else can look after him! And he walked on by.

Then a third man came along – this man was from a place called Samaria and the thing you need to know is that Samaritan people and Jewish people didn’t like each other at all. Perhaps the injured man saw the Samaritan and thought, “Uh-oh, I’m about to get a beating” but the Samaritan man did what was right. He helped the injured man; he cleaned him; he lifted him; he brought him to a hotel and paid for him to have a room to get better in.

Jesus told this story to teach us some things – Jesus wants us to know that it doesn’t matter how you look, or who you are, it matters what you do. The holy men wore the right clothes and went to the right places but they did the wrong thing when it came to this poor guy. The Samaritan did the right thing by the injured man, even though they were from different places and even though they weren’t friends.

And Jesus is teaching us to do the same thing. You’re going to have loads of opportunities this year – being in school means that you’re going to see, do and experience some amazing things – and you’ll have the opportunity to do right by someone. Perhaps you’ll have the chance to share with someone, to pick someone up when they’ve fallen, to invite someone who’s feeling lonely to play, to cheer someone up, to be a good friend, to do the right thing when you could do the wrong thing.

So let’s pray and give thanks for our opportunity to learn and ask God to help teach us how to treat other people in the right way.

Goodies and Baddies

Goodies and baddies – that’s how we always described the characters in the toys that I played with when I was a boy: Optimus Prime (goodie) vs Megatron (baddie); He-Man (goodie) vs Skeletor (baddie)… and movies and books and TV shows have the same basic set-up: Doctor Who is a goodie and the Daleks are baddies; Elsa and Anna are good, Prince Hans isn’t; Robin Hood did wrong things for good reasons and the Sheriff of Nottingham was just plain bad… even Strictly has good old Darcy sitting next to bad old Craig.

Goodies and baddies are important in storytelling, particularly in the stories of the characters we find in pantomimes and fairy tales – good old Sleeping Beauty, bad old Wicked fairy; heroic Aladdin and evil Jafar; and Goldilocks and three bears each saw the other as a baddie and themselves as the goodie. Even in the first Christmas we have very clear goodies (like Mary and Joseph) and a very clear baddie in Herod.

But what about our lives – these are our true stories. When it comes to you and me and Goodies and baddies – I wonder if I were to ask you which one you thought of yourself as what would you say?

You might say “I’m a goodie! I never do anything to hurt anyone else, I give money to charity and I hardly ever slag anyone off – I’m definitely a goodie!”

You might say, “At this very moment I’m a bit of a baddie… I was so grumpy this morning, and I thought very bad things… and I even resent every Christmas present I’ve bought… yeah, I’m not doing so good these days”

Well, the Bible tells us that we’re all baddies – Romans tells us that everyone has sinned (which means we all do the wrong thing) – we’ve all done things that go against God and the ways that God would want us to live. Everyone. Me, standing here, and you sitting there. There ain’t no goodies here.

Well… almost. There is One is not only good, but perfect. And that One is, of course, Jesus.

There’s a song we sing at Easter that goes, “There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin – He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in”

Jesus, born at the first Christmas is the only one who IS good all the time.

Because of who Jesus is (God’s own Son) and what He has done (lived a perfect, good life, yet died a baddie’s death), the Bible says that we who follow Him can have His goodie-ness for our own – that wee song I mentioned earlier says that “He died to make us good”, which means that, when we ask Him, His death takes away the badness of those who follow Him. And there’s more! One of the Christmas readings we read at that time of year says this:

“…to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” (John 1)

Because of Jesus, people like you and me can actually become God’s children! That’s such a reason for celebration! Jesus knows what it’s like to be human and His perfect good life allows people like you and me, if we follow Him and believe in Him, to have our sins forgiven and become full members of God’s own family.

So here are two things to think about this morning:

  • If you think you’re a goodie, think again – like the rest of us, you’re not perfect so don’t fool yourself that you are. Don’t think that the good things you’ve done can make God with you happy and allow you into God’s family because they’ll never be enough.
  • If you realise you’re a baddie – that’s great! Because God sent Jesus to love and serve and die for baddies, to take the blame for them and to bring them into God’s family. If you haven’t thought about this for yourself yet, maybe this is the time to do it. Talk to someone here even today and start that adventure!

If you already follow Jesus and you’re already part of God’s family then don’t get bogged down in guilt and feeling wick when you do something wrong – the Bible reminds us that Jesus brings peace – just keep on coming back to God and thanking Him for Jesus and for the fact that His goodness more than eclipses your badness.

You are Priceless

I recently heard an interesting item on the radio about how much Winnie the Pooh is worth – if someone wanted to buy what’s known as the rights to Winnie the Pooh and then take all the money that Winnie the Pooh movies and toys and clothes and so on makes, they would have to pay £4, 200, 000, 000 – 4 billion, 2 hundred million pounds! That’s a LOT of money.

But it made me think – how much are some of the things that we like worth? How much could you buy them for?

(Play this in the style of “Play your cards right” (for those of a certain age!), asking the children to say “Higher” or “Lower” as each property comes  up):

Star Wars: £29.5 billion
Disney: £124 billion
Peppa Pig: £700 million
The Transformers: £3.8 billion
The Simpsons: £9 billion

And what about you? How much are you worth?

Well, the Bible tells us the answer: you’re worth nothing! Kinda.

Listen:

“You are priceless to Me. I love and honour you.” (Isaiah 43:4)

The Bible says that you are so special that you couldn’t put a price on you! You couldn’t ever find enough money to pay what you’re worth. Everyone is absolutely priceless. Yeah, some people have more money than other people, but each person, no matter who they are is very special, uniquely made, loved by God. In fact we’re so loved that God sent Jesus to Earth to show us how to live and to love and to care; He even died in the place of those who follow Him.

How could you show the people around you that this is true? That they are priceless?

The Cottingley Fairies… an Easter illustration

pexels-photo-138964.jpegBack in 1917, two cousins lived in a town called Cottingley in England. Their names were Elsie and Frances – Elsie was 16, and Frances was 10. Frances’ mum told her never to play down by the river that was nearby their house but Frances disobeyed and went there anyway. One day, she slipped and got her feet wet. When she went home, her mum was very cross, and asked her why she’d gone down to the river. Frances answered that she’d gone down there to see the fairies! Of course, no-one believed Frances, but her cousin Elsie said that she’d seen the fairies as well! Later that day, the girls borrowed Elsie’s dad’s camera and went into the woods and, later, they developed this picture:

(Do a Google Search for “The Cottingley Fairies”)

Soon, people were discussing the girls’ pictures across the country – some people believed them, and some didn’t. The girls were clear though – they really had seen fairies and had taken pictures of them.

(Ask) Who here believes the girls?

But, in 1982, 65 years after they took the photographs, the girls, now old ladies, admitted that they’d faked the pictures, and that the fairies were just dolls that they’d stuck to the logs.

Have you ever tried to convince someone that something ordinary was something much more exciting?

We can read in the Bible about how a group of people did the opposite thing – they tried to convince everyone that something extraordinarily amazing was something else – and it happened just after Jesus died…

Read passage:

Matthew 28:

 1The Sabbath was over, and it was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord’s angel came down from heaven. He rolled away the stone and sat on it. 3The angel looked as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards shook from fear and fell down, as though they were dead.

    5The angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was nailed to a cross. 6He isn’t here! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said he would. Come, see the place where his body was lying. 7Now hurry! Tell his disciples that he has been raised to life and is on his way to Galilee. Go there, and you will see him. That is what I came to tell you.”

    8The women were frightened and yet very happy, as they hurried from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and greeted them. They went near him, held on to his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid! Tell my followers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.”

 11While the women were on their way, some soldiers who had been guarding the tomb went into the city. They told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12So the chief priests met with the leaders and decided to bribe the soldiers with a lot of money. 13They said to the soldiers, “Tell everyone that Jesus’ disciples came during the night and stole his body while you were asleep. 14If the governor hears about this, we will talk to him. You won’t have anything to worry about.” 15The soldiers took the money and did what they were told. The Jewish people still tell each other this story.

So, the two girls in our first story saw something ordinary – a few dolls in a forest – but they made it out to look amazing! Meanwhile, in the story of Jesus’ resurrection, the guards saw something amazing – Jesus was back from the dead! But they spread a story that made the amazing out to look ordinary. However, as Jesus started to show Himself to the people around about – more than 518 – their story started to look a bit suspect.

Please remember this Easter that the Easter story is amazing! We talk about it so much that we forget that it’s incredible, and not made up – but those things are true! This is not the made-up story of a couple of English schoolgirls, or even a group of fishermen 2000 years ago – this is true! God’s son, raised to life, at Easter, for us!

Welcoming Jesus – Palm Sunday

pexels-photo-572487.jpegImagine for a moment that someone very important was coming to town – maybe the Queen, Donald Trump, a famous sports star or someone else. What would you do? How would you act? How would you prepare? (Make a cake; wave a flag; play some music; do a dance; wave your hands; give flowers)

(Pick a child to be (for example) The Queen – give them a crown and a robe)

Bring “the Queen” in and get the children to respond appropriately (select a child to bow and one to present some flowers. Ask all the children to cheer (respectfully) etc).

The Queen is important, but Jesus is the most important person that has ever been so, one day, when He was visiting a town called Jerusalem, everyone was very excited! Jesus had done so many amazing things and had taught so many people about God and His Kingdom that people were always excited to see Him but, on this particular day, they were even more excited. In fact, they were so excited they tore the branches off trees and took off their clothes and waved them in the air! They sang and shouted and were overjoyed, just because He had come to town. We call that day Palm Sunday because they even used palm branches to celebrate Jesus.

Jesus is just as amazing and special to us today as He was back then – He still does amazing things and still teaches us through His Bible and we can get excited about Him too! The Bible tells us that Jesus is with us here, right now – we don’t need to wave branches and clothes in the air to welcome Him because He is already here, even though we can’t see Him. However, we can do some other things to let Him know that He is special to us – we can talk to Him; we can sing songs to Him and sing songs about Him; we can say thank-You to Him for being by our side all the time. So let’s do that now.

Pray

Who am I?

I’m always fond of playing games like this with my Church family – giving a list of clues as to the identity of someone in literature or on TV and asking them to guess who they are (you know the drill!).

This is a great way to lead into the identity of Jesus, telling people that the Bible gives us clues as to who Jesus is, layering them up as we move through the Scriptures so, by the time we reach the Gospels, it becomes clear.

Here are a few “Who am I?”s to get you started.

I have a brother called George.

I love to splash in muddy puddles.
I am a pig.

Who am I?

(Peppa Pig)

I travel in a van called “The Mystery Machine”
I hang out with a bunch of meddling kids.
My best friend is called Shaggy.

Who am I?

(Scooby Doo)

I have something written on my foot.
I have a girlfriend called Bo.
I live in Andy’s Room.

Who am I?

(Woody)

I have a friend called Patrick.
I work in the Krusty Krab.
I live in a pineapple under the sea.

Who am I?

(Spongebob Squarepants)

I live in Arendelle.
I didn’t want to build a snowman.
I needed to learn to let it go.

Who am I?

(Elsa)

I used to live in darkest Peru.
I now live with the Browns in 24 Windsor Gardens, London.
I love Marmalade!

Who am I?

(Paddington Bear)

I work beneath Wayne Manor.
I enjoy gadgets.
I do not like clowns… or jokers.

Who am I?

(Batman)

The Friend at Midnight / The Persistent Widow skit

The Friend at Midnight / The Persistent widow

Luke 11 & Luke 18

Then Jesus went on to say:

Suppose one of you goes to a friend in the middle of the night and says, “Let me borrow three loaves of bread. A friend of mine has dropped in, and I don’t have a thing for him to eat.” And suppose your friend answers, “Don’t bother me! The door is bolted, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up to give you something.”

He may not get up and give you the bread, just because you are his friend. But he will get up and give you as much as you need, simply because you are not ashamed to keep on asking.

 

Jesus told his disciples a story about how they should keep on praying and never give up:

In a town there was once a judge who didn’t fear God or care about people. In that same town there was a widow who kept going to the judge and saying, “Make sure that I get fair treatment in court.”

For a while the judge refused to do anything. Finally, he said to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about people, I will help this widow because she keeps on bothering me. If I don’t help her, she will wear me out.”

The Lord said:

Think about what that crooked judge said. Won’t God protect his chosen ones who pray to him day and night? Won’t he be concerned for them? He will surely hurry and help them. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find on this earth anyone with faith?

 

Script:

Two old friends (Joshua the landowner, in bold, and the Judge in plain type) pass each other on the street. Joshua is bleary-eyed and doesn’t notice the Judge until the Judge calls out to him.

Joshua? Joshua, hello! Didn’t you see me?

(yawning) Oh, Judge – hello. Sorry, I’m barely awake this morning. Say, you’re a judge – give me some advice, what can a man do about troublesome neighbours?

Hmmm… that’s a tricky o… (phone rings – Judge looks at the handset, shudders and hangs up) Sorry – tell me a bit about your neigh… (phone rings – Judge looks at the handset again and hangs up again). Humph. Tell me about it.

Well, it only happened yesterday – and when I say ‘yesterday’, I mean in the middle of the night! I was in bed, like any sensible man, when suddenly there was a knock on my door.

And what time was this?

Around about midnight.

That does seem a bit… (phone rings, this time he answers) WHAT NOW?! Yes, I know it’s you! Yes… yes… yes… NO! I won’t put a good word in for you! No, I couldn’t care less about you… nor your children. No, I don’t particularly care what God would say either. Good day, madam! (Hangs up) Anyway, where were we?

(nods at phone) That sounded a bit rough.

Oh my goodness – it’s this widow! She phones me day and night – she even camped outside my house for a fortnight until I had the police move her on. She’s due to appear in court in front of me in about a week’s time and she wants me to be all sympathetic to her plight (mocking) – she wants me to put a good word in for her and (inverted commas) “treat her right” – as if I could care less about her little problems! Now you, my friend, I do care about – tell me what happened – who was at the door?

It was my neighbour! He didn’t even give me time to get up – he just guldered through my letterbox – He’d had visitors arrive unexpectedly and he wanted me to lend him some bread to feed them! The cheek! I was still tucked up in my bed so I yelled down through the open window, “Go away and leave me and my wife and children in peace!”

And did he?

Did he, heck! He kept on banging and calling until I had to get up and give him what he wanted!

The cheek of the (phone rings) SHRIEK! (Answers phone) GO AWAY! (hangs up) The cheek of the man.

Well, you know, I almost had to admire him for his persistence and I knew I’d get no rest until I did what he asked… so I got up, got him some bread and that solved the problem.

Well, I’m glad that that guy has a good neighbour to call on (Phone rings) How do I solve this problem?

You might also need to try my tactic. Perhaps you could hear her out?

Oh, alright then. I suppose it’ll stop her bothering me – I don’t care much for God or for people, but I do care about my own peace of mind. (Answers phone and say, mildy sarcastically) Yes, dear?

(men walk off)

Won’t God protect his chosen ones who pray to him day and night? Won’t he be concerned for them? He will surely hurry and help them.

Jesus told these stories to help us understand what God is *not* like – God is not like the judge and not like this other man. He doesn’t get frustrated when we pray; He’s not a reluctant listener and He doesn’t answer our prayers in a grumpy way. God is our Father and He loves to hear from and help us.