By Faye Ruddenklau
Division can occur in the church when people become too focused on their own spiritual gift.
Corinthians 13, Ephesians 4
Six to eight cast members are required.
Narrator (voice off): Now you are the body of Christ, and each one is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles; also those having gifts of healing, those with gifts of administration, and those who speak in different kinds of tongues.
(Enter Narrator, carrying a scroll. He goes to centre stage)
Narrator: One day Jesus went into the synagogue, and a scroll was handed to him. (He opens the scroll.) Opening the scroll, he read:"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. Because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind; to set at liberty those are oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."
Enter remainder of cast (five or seven members, each carrying a large square of card. Each card carries one of the following phrases: 'Spirit', 'Anointed,' 'Preach Good News,' 'Free prisoners', 'Heal the Blind', 'Free Oppressed', 'Proclaim the Lord.'
As they enter, they sing the song, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me'. As they sing, they move in front of Jesus, and hold up the cards - words to the front - so they form the shape of a cross.
The choir sing the song a second time. As they do, they turn the cards around, to reveal a drawing of Jesus on the Cross. (ie, each card carries a portion of the drawing.)
At the conclusion of the song, each member looks at the words on his/her individual card, and takes it to be a commission for him/herself. The cast move out in different directions into the audience/congregation, each (simultaneously) declaiming words appropriate to the message on his/her card. Eg,
1. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. I have been anointed brothers to declare to you that the Holy Spirit is indeed alive and well, and moving among his body. And you also need to be filled with the Spirit, if you are to be effective as Christians....
2. Good News. That's what it says: Good News. This is Good News indeed, that Jesus came to save sinners. Come to him and be saved......
3. Free the prisoners! That was the heart of Jesus' message. We are all prisoners of one kind or another, and he has delivered to me this message which I delare to you, that you must come to him to be set free....
4. There are millions of blind people in Africa today, and the Lord has called me to take his healing to them. Support this ministry and you will be fulfilling the Lord's commission....
5. Free the oppressed, brothers. We must make war on the roots of oppression, the capitalist system that has put people in bondage throughout the Third World....
6. This is the year of the Lord's favour! Jesus has revealed that He is about to return, and we must be ready....
As each member of the cast tries to persuade/convert members of the audience to their point of view, the preaching quickly becomes a cacophony.
After a brief time, the Narrator cuts across the din:
Narrator: (Loudly) Now hear the word of the Lord! (The other cast quieten and freeze.)
He gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, so the whole body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and become mature.
Then we will no longer be infants, blown here and there by every wind of teaching. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From Him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work.
(As the Narrator reads, the other cast members shamefacedly return to their places, and hold up the cards again to show Jesus on the Cross. At the conclusion of the reading, all sing 'We Are The Body of the Lord' or similar song.)
© Faye Ruddenklau 1977, All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. She may be contacted c/-: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or C/-: 36B Stourbridge St, Christchurch 2, New Zealand.