A few weeks into a new school year, Susan Moser, a mother from Pennsylvania, asked her young son what he thought of first grade. With enthusiasm, he replied, "Oh, I love school. It's great!" Then, after a brief hesitation, he added. "Well, except for one thing . . . I don't really like it when Mrs. Decker tries to teach us stuff." (1)
Well, that's a problem, isn't it? Some of our students here ca...
Greater love has no man than this . . .
The Civil War ended in 1865. But it wasn't until 1997 that the last shot of that war was fired. In 1997, two young boys were playing around with their new Christmas present, a metal detector. Using their new toy, they came across a live shell that dates back to the Civil War.
The boys, Michael and Andrew Zimmerman of Winchester, Virginia, didn't know what ...
SUBJECT: Palm Sunday
CHARACTERS: Wife, husband
SETTING: A small house on the road on which Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
PROPS: A potted plant
(Woman is kneeling by the side of the road planting the plant)
(Husband''s voice from off stage) "Wife, come in here. It''s time for the evening prayers."
Wife: "Yes, my love." (To herself) "I just want to get this....there! It''s d...
(Suggested ways to present this reading: Have one reader present it while PowerPoint images of crosses and other religious imagery plays in the background.
Play instrumental music in the background and have one or more people present an interpretive dance that follows the outline of the reading.)
God breathed His love
Into a form,
And gave us life.
The gift of grace—
to see God’s f...
Creme Wafer (have the character wear a large sign that reads “Creme Wafer” with a picture of a Creme Wafer on it)
Doughnut (have the character wear a large sign that reads “Doughnut” with a picture of a doughnut on it)
Setting: A therapist’s office. Have a couch for the therapy client and a desk for the therapist. On the therapist’s desk is telephone and a lar...
(4 readers spread out across the stage. Each person steps forward to deliver her lines, then steps back. Must be delivered forcefully and with conviction.)
Reader One: “Four hundred and fifty: the estimated number of Christians killed daily around the world for their faith.”1
Reader Two: “Thirty-nine: the age of German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer when he was executed by the Nazis during World W...
Ivana Heart, host of cooking show
Announcer (voice only)
Setting: Television sound stage for taping of cooking show.
Large, colorful sign that reads “Cooking Up Some Trouble”
Table with bowls, measuring cups, mixing spoons, other cooking paraphernalia
Clipboard for producer
Makeup paraphernalia for makeup artist
Cup of coffee for perso...
Boss of advertising company
Senior advertising executive
Two or three other members of advertising team
Person carrying a cross
Setting: The conference room of an advertising agency
Conference table and chairs
White poster board with ad slogans and pictures (paste magazine ads onto poster board underneath the slogan)
(As the characters talk, have one person carrying a large c...
9. Give Me the Good News
A doctor takes his patient into the examination room and says, “George, I have some good news and some bad news.”
George says, “Give me the good news.”
The doctor says, “They’re going to name a disease after you.”
10. You've Got to Go Lower
Pastor David Moore tells about a man who was walking through an art gallery when he came upon a picture of the Lord Jesus dying upon the cross. As he stared into the face of Christ, so full of agony, the gallery guard tapped him on the shoulder. “Lower,” the guard said. “The artist painted this picture to be appreciated from a lower position.”
So the man bent down. And from this lower position he...
11. Heaven Sent
According to a news story in USA Today some time back, a woman in California found a package on her doorstep that contained a car key and a note. The note quoted Bible verses and ended with these words, “This is a gift for you because I love you.” It was signed, “An angel of the Lord.”
In her driveway the woman found an almost new car. It was just what she needed to replace her unreliable, twenty...
12. That Beautiful Raggedy Doll
On Christmas Day 1988, a beautiful story by Karen Zautyk appeared in the New York Daily News titled “Remember, It is Love That Makes Us Rich.” The story tells about a place in Edinburgh, Scotland, called The Museum of Childhood. This museum is filled with childhood treasures of the upper classes such as elegant teddy bears, puppets, rocking horses . . . and cases and cases of dolls.
“In one corne...
13. Tresspassing Snowmen
Luke 2:1-7, Luke 2:8-20
Author David Bruce, in his book Don't Fear the Reaper, tells a wonderful story about a crotchety old man with a less than positive attitude. One winter, some unknown person went to this elderly man’s house and cleared his driveway. Without saying anything about it and with no expectation of compensation, he cleared the driveway. As if that wasn’t enough, using the snow which he had scraped from th...
14. A Burst of Applause
Luke 2:1-7, Luke 2:8-20
Chelsey Harmon, of the Center for Excellence in Preaching, tells about an article that appeared in the Southwest Review magazine sometime back. The article was written by Roger Gilbert who reflected on being in a crowd one day with hundreds of other people watching a partial solar eclipse. He reveals that, at the moment the moon became “superimposed” on the sun, “the entire crowd spontaneously bur...
15. Snake Bitten
Jim Talley and Terry Benner in their book True Colors tell the story of a man named Joe who decided to take an afternoon walk through the foothills just above a lake where he had been fishing. Joe was comfortably dressed in shorts, a T-shirt, and tennis shoes. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in his leg as he stepped over a small log. It was then he noticed a large diamondback rattler slithering int...
16. Forgiveness Is His Business
In 1983 Mehmet Ali Agca was in the midst of the crowd in St. Peter’s Square. He pulled a gun out of his pocket and tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II. He was arrested and imprisoned. In January 1984 the Pope visited the prison, and when he walked through the cell door, he said to the young man, “I forgive you.”
The papers in the city of Rome made much of it, but one editorial writer made a si...
A patient, while recovering in the hospital from a heart attack, met this over zealous evangelist. For half an hour, the preacher lectured the man on being thankful for God's mercy and repenting immediately of his sins.
"Tell the truth, brother," the pastor remarked. "During your heart attack, didn't all your sins flash before your eyes?"
With a mischievous grin, the patient responded, "Don't be...
Before her death in 1997, Jeanne Calment was the oldest living human whose age could be verified by official documentation. This remarkable French lady claimed she owed her longevity to chocolate, olive oil, and port wine. On her one hundred and twentieth birthday celebration, someone asked Ms. Calment, "What is your vision of the future?"
With a twinkle in her eye, Ms. Calment replied, "Very bri...
19. Of Cats and People
1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
I want to share a little essay that one inspired author wrote about his cat. It’s titled “Of Cats and People” and it was shared via a website called www.laughandlift.com. It’s by Michael Newnham:
“Lord, this cat you gave me . . . she just doesn’t listen. I told her the rains were coming . . . she goes out anyway and comes back soaked. I told her not to lie in weeds . . . yet every day she comes i...
SUBJECT: Happiness CHARACTERS: Woman, Genie SETTING: Living room PROPS: Football jersey, used bottle of medicine, receipts, old lunch box Woman: "I can''t believe we accumulated all this junk! Give me one year and an empty closet, and I''ll have it ruined by the end. Football jerseys, old medicine--it''s bad when your penicillin is growing mold--receipts...yuck! some old lunch box. I bet it ...
SUBJECT: Exhaustion, loneliness, help, listening CHARACTERS: Radio psychiatrist, Woman, Phil, Boss SETTING: One-half of stage is Phil''s garage, one-half of stage is Woman''s house PROPS: Two small tables, each with a telephone on them, two radios, some grease rags or tools for working on cars Radio psychiatrist: "Hello out there! This is Dr. Ray, waiting to hear from you. Do you have a prob...
SUBJECT: Exhaustion, spiritual nourishment, church CHARACTERS: Waiter, Man SETTING: Diner PROPS: Table and chairs, coffee pot and coffee cup, plate with some food, apron for waiter Waiter: "Hey, what can I get you?" Man: "Burger and a cup of coffee, please." Waiter: "You got it." Man: "Oh, and keep the refills coming." Waiter: "Whatever you say." (Waiter brings him burger and coffee. Man...
SUBJECT: Sincerity, insincerity, commitment, sacrifice, appearances CHARACTERS: Four teenage girls: Shauna, Wendy, Liz, Kendall SETTING: The mall PROPS: A wooden cross necklace, various cross necklaces, bulging shopping bags Shauna: "Hey, guys, where to next?" Girls: "I don''t know." "I''m hungry." "I''m just about maxed out." Wendy: "Ooh, let''s check out the jewelry store." Girls: "Okay...
SUBJECT: Bullies, rejection, difficult people CHARACTERS: Mom, Son (about 6th or 7th grade) SETTING: Son''s room PROPS: Desk and chair computer Mom: "Hey honey. How was school?" Son: "Fine." Mom: "That was the sorriest-sounding fine'' I''ve ever heard. Did something bad happen?" Son: "Nothing out of the ordinary." Mom: "Ouch. So do you want to talk about it?" Son: "Can''t you see I''...
SUBJECT: Communication, growing up CHARACTERS: Dad, Son (fourteen or fifteen years old) SETTING: Living room PROPS: None necessary. Might want to use mail, schoolbooks, book bag, etc. Dad: "Hey, how was your day?" Son: "Fine." Dad: "Just fine? Are your classes going well?" Son: "Yeah." Dad: " Yeah'' as in, I''m making B''s and C''s'', or Yeah,'' as in, If I sit behind the bigger kids i...