The loose-leaf Bible

(Performed in the style of an infomercial – the purchaser stands front and centre with his purchase, and the text is read in a confident salesman-type voice, off-stage)

  

Congratulations, you’ve just purchased the brand new Loose-leaf Bible, the Bible of choice for the discerning 21st Century Christian. (Purchaser looks pleased)

The Loose-Leaf Bible is available in a variety of colour schemes to suit your individual needs – the binder is interchangeable so that you can mix and match to compliment your wardrobe choices, or even to fit in with your mood. (Purchaser flicks through a number of files before selecting one)

All 61 books of the Bible are enclosed for your reading pleasure (for convenience sake, we’ve taken the liberty of removing some of the less narrative-driven books, to save you having to bother flicking past Leviticus and 1st Chronicles). We’ve also reduced the font in some of the less well-known parts of the Bible (like Haggai, Obadiah, Nahum and the bulk of revelation) so that these books can be quickly skipped past (let’s face it, when are you likely to read them?) On a related point, we’ve also enclosed a useful phonetic pronunciation guide to Biblical names, to enable you to separate your Balaams from your Baraks, and your Machpelahs from your Mechezideks. (Purchaser looks happy at this)

A useful feature of the Loose-Leaf Bible is the ability to arrange the books as you wish! Forget about the unfolding narrative of God’s Salvation Plan – if you like the book of Matthew best, put Matthew first! Terms like Old Testament and New Testament are passé in our cultured times, so don’t worry about those ancient index scales. Additionally, this enables you to put the least important books in the Bible (in your own opinion, of course) towards the back or, if you should wish, in an alternative folder to be stored in a bookshelf or attic for reference at a later date, whilst you keep the main bits of the Bible close to your heart. (Purchaser removes half the pages and put them to one side)

Now, what’s that you say? You’ve selected your favourite books, but there are still parts of those books that you’d rather not have to wade through? Well, this is why the Loose-Leaf Bible was created!

Think Genesis 1-9 is a collection of myths? Take it out! (Purchaser rips out some pages and bins them – does this for all the following)

Think Exodus goes downhill after the actual Exodus? Just get rid of everything after chapter 20!

Think some of the Ten Commandments don’t apply to you? Murder, indeed! Just retype the list and slot the new page in place!

Think that some of the Bible’s attitudes on marriage, sex and family are clearly from a more primitive time? Fine! Bung the stuff you don’t like in the nearest bin!

Stuck on the begats? Be gone!

The idea of a virgin birth’s a bit hard to swallow? Hard to believe that a guy can rise from the dead? Think some of those miracles are a bit more like cheap parlor tricks? Reckon those prophecies were probably twisted into the life of Jesus by the writers? Get rid! If it was really important, it’d be a bit clearer.

(Purchaser removes a huge bulk of the pages)

So, there you have it! The Word of God available in one handy binder – at your convenience, and at your level. (Purchaser is left with a few pages – looking baffled)

Lights go down, and a voice reads:

“Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. Deuteronomy 12:32

Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. Proverbs 30:5-6

 

Easter Sunday, early in the morning…

A short drama taken from John’s Gospel:

  

Cast:            Peter, John and Mary Magdalene

 

Peter and John are sitting in the Upper Room. They’re dressed in dark clothes and are upset.

 

Peter (sad, downcast, talking to the children): Something terrible’s happened – It happened the day before yesterday and I just can’t get over it. Our leader, our master, our teacher, a man called Jesus – someone we thought would never leave us… well, He died on Friday… in fact, He was murdered.

 

John: The whole day was a nightmare – there were some men called Pharisees who were really jealous of Jesus and they wanted to kill Him so they had Him arrested. One of our friends, Judas, betrayed us and told the soldiers were Jesus was. The strange thing was that Jesus allowed the soldiers to take Him away.

 

Peter: He was taken to the palace and, after a lot of questions and people being really unkind to Him, Jesus was taken to a place called Calvary and that’s where they crucified Him.

 

John: It really is that worst thing that could happen because we thought Jesus was someone really special… we thought He was the Son of God… but how can the Son of God be dead!? It just doesn’t make…

 

(Suddenly Mary interrupts them by rushing in)

 

Mary: Peter, John! I’ve seen Him! I’ve seen Him!

 

Peter: Who, Mary? Who have you seen?

 

Mary: Jesus! I’ve seen Him!

 

John: Mary, that’s not fair – you shouldn’t joke about that sort of thing.

 

Mary: I’m not joking! Let me tell you what happened.

 

Peter: OK, Mary, what happened this morning?

 

Mary: (Talking to the children now with Peter and John looking on) Well, early this morning, Salome, James’ mum and I went to the cave where Jesus had been buried so that we could pour some oils and spices on His body – that’s what we do in this part of the world. Anyway, when I got there I discovered something really strange: When Jesus’ body was put in the cave a huge stone was put at the entrance so that no-one could get in but, when we arrived, we found that the stone was rolled away! I looked inside the cave and found that Jesus’ body wasn’t there anymore!

 

Peter (getting angry):       WHAT? What do you mean? Where was His body? Has somebody taken it!?

 

Mary: No, Peter, listen. There were two… I don’t know…. I thought they were men but they were shining. I think they might have been angels. I was really upset when I couldn’t find His body because, like you Peter, I thought someone had taken His body away. I started to cry and I turned around to find someone to see if they could tell me what was going on. (To the children) Do you know the way when you cry that it’s sometimes hard to see because your eyes are full of tears? Well, I was like that and I almost bumped into a man in the garden. I was crying really hard by then and He said: “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” I said to Him: “They’ve taken my Lord’s body! I don’t know where they have put Him…” Then the man said one word; He said, “Mary” and I looked up and… it wasn’t a gardener at all – it was Jesus! Alive! He told me to come and tell you that He was alive so that you can see Him before He goes to Heaven!

 

John: What?! He’s alive?! I’ve gotta go see this for myself! Come on, Peter! Let’s go and look at that empty tomb!

 

(Peter and John run out)

 

Mary: Jesus is alive! This is the best day ever! We thought that everything was lost – we thought He was dead forever but He’s not dead. This means that He really is Who He said He was – He’s the Son of God! I’ve got to run – this is such good news that I’ve got to tell everyone!

 

(Mary leaves)

Rich Farmer / Poor Widow

Here’s a simple puppet script to open a discussion with children about tithing and the different attitudes there may be.

  
The Rich Farmer and the Poor Widow

What’s better, boys and girls: is it better to have loads of money, or to have very little money?

Most people would think it’s better to be rich, but we’re going to hear two stories today to help us think about that… The first story is a story that Jesus told, and the second story is something Jesus saw.

This is Jesus’ story:

Once upon a time, there was a farmer.

(Bring up farmer)

This farmer was a very rich farmer.

(Farmer nods)

In fact, he was so rich that when the time came for the crops to be harvested in from the fields, he had so much food that he didn’t know what to do with it!

(Farmer shakes his head)

But then the farmer had a brainwave!

(Farmer looks excited!)

Do you think his good idea was to throw a party for all his friends?

(Farmer shakes his head)

No. Do you think his good idea was to give the extra food away?

(Farmer shakes his head)

No. Do you think his good idea was to have a special service to give thanks to God?

(Farmer shakes his head)

No! The farmer’s idea was to knock down all his old barns because they were too small.

(Farmer echoes: Too small!)

And then the farmer built bigger barns to put all his food into.

(Farmer says, Hooray!)

The farmer thought it was better to be rich than to give thanks to God. He thought it was better to be rich than to be generous. But Jesus said that this is NOT how God wants us to live. God wants us to, especially at Harvest time, give thanks to God for His goodness to us, and to be generous to those around us.

(Take farmer away)

One day, Jesus and His friends were in the temple. They saw people come. They saw people go. Lots of people who came wanted to give money to the work of the temple – people still do that today in Church and in Sunday School.

Jesus and His friends watched as person after person came in and gave their money in to help the work of the temple (Have a collection box to one side)

(Bring up a puppet – walks along the top of the theatre and shouts something like, “Please use all this money to help people”)

(Bring up another puppet… “Please use this money to fix the temple roof”)

(Bring up another puppet… “Please use this to give to the poor”)

But then along came a lady who didn’t look as though she had much money. (Bring puppet up and puppet acts this out)

Slowly she walked to the collection box and dropped in two little pennies. Then she went away.

Maybe Jesus’ friend were wondering what Jesus would say – would He be cross that the lady didn’t have much money to give to God and to the temple?

But, no Jesus wasn’t cross! He said this, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave money it’s true, but they were very rich! But she is very poor and still she gave money.”

Two very different people – a rich farmer and a poor widow – using money in very different ways. What did Jesus think about that? Why?

Who killed the King? 

This is an adaptation of a script we used in Primary School. I couldn’t find a copy of the original but I remembered the gist of it so wrote my own version. It’s a super drama to think through the motivations of the main players in the Easter Story…

(Those of you who know the old poem “Who killed Cock Robin?” will recognise the inspiration for the format of this).

  
Who killed the king?

 

Everybody: Who killed the King?

 

“I” said the guard

“I set to work with nail and spear,

This so-called king I did not fear!

I killed the King.”

 

Everybody: Who killed the King?

 

“It was me”, said Judas.

“It was all above board,

I was paid a good price to betray my Lord.

I killed the King.”

 

Everybody: Who killed the King?

 

“We Pharisees did!

We were jealous and so, with our lies and deceit,

We made the crowd angry and achieved this great feat.

We killed the King.”

 

Everybody: Who killed the King?

 

“We” said the crowd,

“With our cries and demands,

We wanted Him dead and tied Pilate’s hands,

We killed the King.”

 

Everybody: Who killed the King?

 

“It was not I”

Said Pilate in fear

“I washed my hands,

And did not hear!

I did not kill the King!”

 

Everybody: Who killed the King?

 

“We” says the World.

“Because of His love,

He came to die for us from Heaven above.

We killed the King.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shopkeeper (aka The Pearl of Great Price/Treasure in a field skit)


The Shopkeeper: Hello and welcome to my little shop – Just Junk: I’ll trade your trash and take your tat! Bring anything to me and I’ll buy it…

(Pearl comes in)

Oh! A customer!

Pearl: Hi there, I was wondering if you might be up for buying a few bits and pieces?

The Shopkeeper: Well, that’s what I’m here for: I’ll trade your trash and take your tat!

Pearl: Great! I’m looking to sell (brings up bag) this stuff!

The Shopkeeper: OK (looks inside) – right, books, some clothes, DVDs and… um… you’re selling your toothbrush?

Pearl: Yip – I’m selling everything.

The Shopkeeper: And… your… socks?

Pearl: Sure! Even the odd ones.

The Shopkeeper: Riiiiight. You seem to be having a fairly big clearout?

Pearl: Yes, I’m raising funds for a special purchase! In fact, do you buy jewellery too?

The Shopkeeper: Of course! I buy everything! No tat too tatty and all that.

Pearl: What about these? (shows a small bag of pearls)

The Shopkeeper: Wow! Pearls! These are beautiful and you’d get quite a lot of money for them! Are you sure you want to sell them?

Pearl: Definitely! I’ve seen something that makes everything else – even these precious pearls – look like nothing!

The Shopkeeper: Well then it’s a deal! I’ll only be able to give you half price for the odd socks and you can keep the toothbrush… and the underpants but here you go!

Pearl: Great! I’m off to the jewellery shop!

(Farmer Joe comes in)

Farmer Joe: Here! Would you be in the market to buy a tractor?

The Shopkeeper: That’s an unusual request but, yes, I buy everything!

Farmer Joe: What about a metal detector?

The Shopkeeper: Of course.

Farmer Joe: And my house?

The Shopkeeper: Your what?

Farmer Joe: My house. My dog. My car. My collection of ______________ DVDs and my gardening equipment.

The Shopkeeper: B… but why are you selling all this stuff?!

Farmer Joe: Oh, I want to buy a field!

The Shopkeeper: I can only guess – the field has a house and a dog and a car even better than the stuff you’re selling…

Farmer Joe: Nope! There’s nothing much there except a tree (and some treasure)

The Shopkeeper: Pardon?

Farmer Joe: Nothing – so, do we have a deal?

The Shopkeeper: Oh, alright then. Sold!

Farmer Joe: Oh. Actually I might need to keep a hold of the shovel – can I keep that?

The Shopkeeper: That’ll be £5 please.

Farmer Joe: Thanks! Bye!

(Runs down left aisle) Pearl: Look at the size of this pearl I just bought with that money! Yeooooooo!

(Runs down right aisle) Farmer Joe: Who said there’s no such thing as buried treasure! I LOVE my field! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

The Shopkeeper: Strange customers. Next!