Posted by jlwile on April 1, 2013
Easter Sunday is a big deal at my church. This is fitting, of course, since Easter is the most important holiday in Christendom. As 1Corinthians 15:14 reminds us:
and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.
Because we want to make Easter Sunday worship special, we put a lot of work into all parts of the service. This year, I was once again asked to write a short drama to communicate some truth about Easter. Below the fold, you will find the script of what we ended up performing.
Before you read the script, I want you to know three things. First, feel free to use this script in any way that helps you provide a meaningful experience for your fellow Christians. I would appreciate a credit, but the script is not copyrighted in any way. Second, I have only three or four original ideas when it comes to drama, so I tend to recycle them quite a bit. If you remember my previous Easter drama, you will find the basic premise and even the final line to be essentially the same. Nevertheless, I do think the drama presents a profound truth about Easter in a meaningful way. I hope you agree. Finally, this script was made significantly better with the help of Diana Waring. Without her help, the ending would not have been nearly as effective.
[The drama starts in a blackout. When the lights come up, we find a man in New-Testament-period clothes (Mordecai) with a large, pretty wooden object, such as an ornate wooden chair. He is using a rag to clean it up. Another man wearing New-Testament-period clothes (Jesus after the resurrection) enters and heads straight for Mordecai.]
Jesus: Hello. Are you Mordecai the woodcrafter?
Mordecai: (smiling at a memory) “Mordecai the woodcrafter.” That’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time. (pause) Yes, I am Mordecai.
Jesus: (Looking at the object Mordecai is cleaning) That’s a very fine piece you have there.
Mordecai: Thank you. It’s a present for my wife.
Jesus: It’s not for a paying customer?
Mordecai: (with regret) I wish it were, but people just won’t spend the money on work like this.
Jesus: (sincerely) That’s a shame, because it’s a very nice piece, and I speak with some experience on the matter.
Mordecai: Well, thank you very much. (pause) Is there something I can do for you?
Jesus: Actually, I just stopped by to tell you that I have been using your work, and I am very pleased with it.
Mordecai: (pleasantly surprised) Really?
Jesus: Yes. As a matter of fact, you might say that my life was shaped (at least in part) by the work you have done.
Mordecai: (intrigued) What do you mean?
Jesus: Well, when my mother was pregnant with me, she and my father had to take a long journey. When they arrived at their destination, they found it to be so crowded that they couldn’t find a place to stay. A nice man named Ishmael allowed them to sleep with his animals, and that’s when I was born. They had no place to put me, so they took a manger, filled it with hay, and put me on the hay. As I understand it, that manger was your work.
Mordecai: (thoughtful) You know, you may be right. I apprenticed as a woodwooker for many years, and my master was very hesitant to let me make a piece on my own. However, when a man named Ishmael asked for a manger, my master assigned it to me as a solo project. I was thrilled. I worked very hard on that manger, and I was quite proud of it when I gave it to Ishamel. But that manger was designed for feeding cattle, not holding babies!
Jesus: As my parents tell me, it was actually good at both of those jobs!
Mordecai: (happy at the old memory) Well…I’m glad it worked out for you.
Jesus: Actually, the main reason I came was to tell you that I used a piece you made much more recently.
Mordecai: (immediately somber) No…I don’t think that’s possible.
Jesus: I think it is.
Mordecai: No…you see…I don’t make things like this (motioning to the object) anymore. I just can’t make a living doing this kind of work. I…I make crosses for the Roman government.
Jesus: You sound ashamed.
Mordecai: I know what those crosses are used for, and I don’t like it.
Jesus: Then why do you do it?
Mordecai: It’s the only way I can make enough money to support my family.
Jesus: Well, I think it’s important for you to know that I did, indeed, use one of your crosses recently.
Mordecai: (confused) What would you use a cross for? You don’t look like a centurion.
Jesus: This particular cross was very strong and quite sturdy. It held a lot of weight. (looking out into the audience) In fact, I was able to hang a whole lot of burdens on that cross you made.
Mordecai: (still confused) Burdens?
Jesus: (still looking at the audience) Yes, and because I was able to hang so many burdens on that cross, a lot of people are going to be blessed for a long, long time. (He pauses and then looks at Mordecai. He puts his hand on Mordecai’s shoulder and is as sincere as he can possibly be.) I thought you would want to know that.
(Jesus begins to leave. Mordecai is thoughtful, but stops Jesus before he is completely gone.)
Mordecai: Wait a minute. What’s your name?
Jesus: Who do you say that I am?