Monday, August 29, 2011

God Wins

Scripture Reference: Revelation
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. - Revelation 22:21
A lesson about the meaning of the book of Revelation.

MR. WISEMAN – a boxing rabbi and preterist
SISTER SOPHIA – a boxing nun and futurist
MISS REBECCA – the teacher who introduces the experts
JESSIE – the student who sets them straight

(The scene opens with MISS REBECCA on stage.)

MISS REBECCA: Today, we come to the end of our study of the New Testament with a look at the book of Revelation. This book can be very hard to understand, so we have brought in two experts to discuss its meaning and significance. Please welcome Mr. Wiseman and Sister Sophia.

MR. WISEMAN: Thank you, Miss Rebecca, for having me here today, and it's always a pleasure to see you, Sophia.

SISTER SOPHIA: And it's always nice to see you. Good morning, boys & girls.

MISS REBECCA: Let's start with you, Mr. Wiseman. What can you tell us about the book of Revelation?

MR. WISEMAN: The Revelation of John describes events that took place in the first century and culminated in the destruction of Temple in AD 70.

SISTER SOPHIA: Mr. Wiseman, sometimes you're not such a wise man with your preterist piffle. Revelation is clearly depicting future events – perhaps even near-future events.

MR. WISEMAN: Sophie, Sophie. You and your futurist folderol. How can you say these are future events? In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus said "this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled." The Temple was destroyed within a 40-year generation. (punches SOPHIA)

SISTER SOPHIA: Really? Revelation describes an apocalypse complete with earthquakes, rivers turning to blood, everything in the sea dying, and people gnawing off their tongues – ew! I think if that had happened, someone might have mentioned it. (punches WISEMAN)

MR. WISEMAN: It's called symbolism. Or don't they us big words like that in the books you read? (several punches)

SISTER SOPHIA: Ooo! Nice one, fuzzball. What about the millennium? (several punches)

MR. WISEMAN: Millennium, shmillennium. Next you'll be talking about the antichrist. (more punches)

SISTER SOPHIA: That's right. The Antichrist will rise from the Middle East. (more punches)

MR. WISEMAN: Wrong! Nero was the antichrist.

(The punches now become non-stop.)

SISTER SOPHIA: Blasphemer!

MR. WISEMAN: Heretic!


MR. WISEMAN: Schmuck!

JESSIE: (standing) Hold it! I know what Revelation means.

(The punching stops, and they turn to JESSIE.)

SISTER SOPHIA: What are you talking about?

JESSIE: I know what Revelation means.

MR. WISEMAN: You know what Revelation means. I've studied this my whole adult life. I have a library full of books on the subject and have met with the greatest scholars of eschatology.

SISTER SOPHIA: She probably can't even spell eschatology.

MR. WISEMAN: So tell us, Miss Smartypants, what does Revelation mean?

JESSIE: In the end, God wins.


MR. WISEMAN: Well, I think I better be going. (exits quickly)

SISTER SOPHIA: Yeah, I gotta go to, uh... I've gotta do, uh... I have to be at the, uh... Bye. (exits quickly)

MISS REBECCA: Good job, Jessie. That is the right answer.

JESSIE: (waving) Thank you. Thank you very much. (sits)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In the Vase of Disaster

Scripture Reference: Hebrews 11, Romans 4:18-25

A lesson about faith.
He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. - Romans 4:25
OZZIE – an excitable little monster
MISS REBECCA – the teacher who sets him straight

(The scene opens with MISS REBECCA on stage.)

OZZIE: Miss Rebecca! Miss Rebecca! I need to ask you something!

MISS REBECCA: What do you need, Ozzie?

OZZIE: If I were to ask if I could come live with you, what would you say?

MISS REBECCA: I'd say, why do you not want to live at your home anymore?

OZZIE: No reason. No one's in trouble. Nothing's broken. Just askin'?

MISS REBECCA: What did you break, Ozzie?

OZZIE: Break? Me? Nothing. Why do you ask?

MISS REBECCA: Call it mother's intuition.

OZZIE: No, no. I was just thinking. What if someone – not me – did something – say break something – and needed some place to lay low or maybe even live forever, would you be willing to help some one – who's not me - like that?

MISS REBECCA: What did you break, Ozzie?

OZZIE: Nothing! I didn't break my mom's favorite vase!

MISS REBECCA: You broke your mom's favorite vase?

OZZIE: How did you find out? Who told you? Was it Dalton?

MISS REBECCA: No. It's not important how I found out. What is important is why you think you need somewhere else to live?

OZZIE: Cause my mom loves that vase, and she'll hate me for breaking it. She'll probably kick me out of the house, and I'll be homeless and probably have to live in a cardboard box by the railroad track. I'll have to eat bugs and... and sticks and stones. I'll eventually wither away to fur and bones.

MISS REBECCA: I don't think any of that will happen to you.

OZZIE: But she will kick me out.

MISS REBECCA: I don't think she'll kick you out either. Was it an accident?

OZZIE: Yes, ma'am, but it was her favorite vase. I'm doomed! I'm doomed!

MISS REBECCA: You're not doomed. Tell you what, sweetie, I'll take care of it with your mom.

OZZIE: Really?!? How?

MISS REBECCA: Don't worry about how. Just trust me.

OZZIE: You're swell. Miss Rebecca. How can I ever repay you?

MISS REBECCA: Tell you what – have faith that I can take care of it, and we'll call it even.

OZZIE: Well, certainly. That's stupendous. Thanks!

MISS REBECCA: My pleasure. I'm glad I can help.

OZZIE: Oh, and one more thing.

MISS REBECCA: What's that?

OZZIE: When you talk to my mom don't mention her favorite lamp. (exits)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Apostle, Epistle, SpongeBob

Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. - Philippians 3:8 (CEV) Last Sunday, our lesson was on Paul's letter to Philemon, but we also did an overview of all of Paul's letters. I told them the letters were called epistles and discussed how they were used in the early church. To help them remember the epistles, and not confuse them with apostles, I came up with this game.

I put three hula hoops on the ground (you could use tape or some other way of creating a circle) and labeled the circles "Apostle," "Epistle," and "SpongeBob." I then read the names off the list below (in random order), and the kids had to decide if it was an apostle, an epistle, or a character from SpongeBob SquarePants. They did this by getting into the appropriate circle. For example, if I said Thomas, they should all get into the circle for Apostle, or if I said Squidward, they should all get in the circle for SpongeBob.

Here is the list I used:

Galatians (Epistle)
Romans (Epistle)
Titus (Epistle)
Ephesians (Epistle)
Philippians (Epistle)
Colossians (Epistle)
Philemon (Epistle)
Peter (Apostle)
John (Apostle)
Paul (Apostle)
Thomas (Apostle)
Simon (Apostle)
Andrew (Apostle)
Matthias (Apostle)
Patrick [Star] (Sponge Bob)
Squidward [Tentacles] (Sponge Bob)
Sandy [Cheeks] (Sponge Bob)
[Sheldon] Plankton (Sponge Bob)
Mermaid Man (Sponge Bob)
Barnacle Boy (Sponge Bob)
Mr. Krabs (Sponge Bob)

The game is actually pretty easy. Rarely did the kids miss a question. Titus, however, tricked a couple of them. The main point of the game was to have the kids do something active and fun to review the lesson, and this worked very well. I suspect I will use variations of this game to review other lessons. Maybe "Old Testament, New Testament, Dr. Seuss" is in the near future.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Good Feathers

Scripture Reference: Philemon, 2 Corinthians 5:21
If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. - Philemon 1:18
A lesson about redemption.

DILLY – a southern fried chicken who doesn’t always get things straight
BUGSY – a tough guy

something that suggests a gangster

(BUGSY is out of sight; DILLY enters)

DILLY: Good mornin;, young 'uns' How y'all are? (improv/interact with the kids) Well, aren't y'all just cuter than a box of puppies.

BUGSY: (enters and approaches the stage) Hey, you! Chicken! Can you help me?

DILLY: I reckon I can. How may I help you, sir?

BUGSY: I'm lookin' for some chick named Flora. You know the dame?

DILLY: The lady you are referring to is my dearest friend. What in the name of Col. Sanders does a ruffian like you want with Flora?

BUGSY: It ain't none of your business, but she owes my employer chicken feed.

DILLY: If she doesn't owe him much money, why did he send his hired muscle to collect it?

BUGSY: Not money, you dizzy dame. Chicken feed. She actually owes some feed for chickens.

DILLY: Well, roll me over and call me tumbleweeds. Whatever happened?

BUGSY: Seems your pal is a doll with a big heart. There wasn't enough food at the orphanage, so she borrowed some from my employer. Now, he's sent me to collect her repayment.

DILLY: The thing sounds more crooked than a corkscrew, but I can guarantee that Flora will make good on her debts.

BUGSY: Your guarantee is all well and good, but it don't feed the monkey.

DILLY: You have a mighty peculiar way of express yourself. Anyway, if her word isn't good enough for you, perhaps mine will be.

BUGSY: What you talking about you crazy broad?

DILLY: I will cover Flora's debt. I will pay it for her.

BUGSY: Why in the world would you do that?

DILLY: Because she is my oldest and dearest friend.

BUGSY: (starting to get emotional) And you'd do that for her?

DILLY: As certain as God made little green apples. I love Flora like a sister.

BUGSY: (becoming more emotional) I've never heard of anyone doing that before. That's the sweetest thing ever.

DILLY: Love is always willing to sacrifice for others and give to help a friend.

BUGSY: (bawling) I wish I had a friend like that. Someone I could sacrifice for. Someone to have my back. Someone to go to gun show with. I'm getting too emotional. I'll come back tomorrow to collect the chicken feed. . (exits quickly)

DILLY: (stares at stage surprised at Bugsy's sudden departure)

BUGSY: (reappears) I almost forgot – bye, youse guys! (exits)

DILLY: Bye, y'all. (exits)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Missing: Squiggly

Scripture Reference: Acts 27-28

A lesson about God’s provision.Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1

OZZIE – an excitable little monster
SQUIGGLY – Ozzie’s pet worm
MR. MATT – the teacher who sets him straight


(MR. MATT is on stage when OZZIE enters.)

OZZIE: (frantic) Mr. Matt! Mr. Matt!

MR. MATT: What is it, Ozzie?

OZZIE: He's missing! He's gone astray! I've searched high & low, hither & yon, betwixt & between! I can't fine him! He's lost! He's lost I tell you! He's gone!!

MR. MATT: Who's gone?

OZZIE: Squiggly's gone. I can't find him anywhere.

MR. MATT: I'm sorry to hear that.

OZZIE: Hey, Caleb! Have you seen, Squiggly? (Ask several kids taking time to interact & improvise.) How about you, Mr. Matt? Have you seen Squiggly?

MR. MATT: No, I haven't, but I'm sure he'll come back.

OZZIE: That's what my mama said. She said I needed to rely on God's pro-, pro-, pro volone.

MR. MATT: Provision?

OZZIE: That's what my mama said. To trust in God's provision to bring him back.

MR. MATT: Your mama sounds like a very wise woman.

OZZIE: That's what my mama said.

MR. MATT: So do you trust God to provide?

OZZIE: It's not easy, but I'll try.

(SQUIGGLY appears. MR. MATT notices; OZZIE does not.)

MR. MATT: I have a feeling it's all going to work out.

OZZIE: You think so?

MR. MATT: I know so.


OZZIE: Squiggly!!

SQUIGGLY: (spoken with a kazoo) Ozzie!

OZZIE: Where have you been, you silly worm?

SQUIGGLY: (provides a long, unintelligible explanation)

OZZIE: (to MR. MATT) He says he was visiting his friend Squigbert, and he left me note by my hairbrush.

MR. MATT: And you didn't see it?

OZZIE: I forget to brush my hair.

MR. MATT: How long has he been gone?

OZZIE: Four days.

MR. MATT: You haven't brushed your hair in four days?

OZZIE: Do I look like I brush my hair everyday?

MR. MATT: True. I guess he should have put it my your toothbrush.

OZZIE: Do I look like I brush my teeth everyday? (exits quickly)

(SQUIGGLY exits quickly)

MR. MATT: Ozzie!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Jail Bunny

Scripture Reference: Acts 16:16-36
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13
A lesson about God’s power.

D.B. – a good albeit not very bright bunny
MR. MIKE– the teacher who sets him straight


(MR. MIKE is on stage when D.B. enters.)

D.B.: Hi, Mr. Mike.

MR. MIKE: Hi, D.B. How’s it going?

D.B.: I am doing a lot better now.

MR. MIKE: You weren’t doing OK before now?

D.B.: No, I had a bad week at school.

MR. MIKE: What school do you go to, D.B.?

D.B.: Bugs Bunny Elementary School, and they are so unfair.

MR. MIKE: What happened?

D.B.: I had detention all week.

MR. MIKE: What did you do?

D.B.: That is just it. I did not do anything.

MR. MIKE: (incredulous) Really?

D.B.: Really. I know I do naughty stuff sometimes, but this time I am innocent, I tell ya.

MR. MIKE: Then I’m sorry to hear that.

D.B.: Plus the school bully was in there: Peter Bignose.

MR. MIKE: Peter Bignose?

D.B.: Do you know him?

MR. MIKE: No, it’s just a kind of unusual name.

D.B.: It is a pretty common rabbit name.

MR. MIKE: Really?

D.B.: Yes, there are lots of rabbits named Peter.

MR. MIKE: Oh. Well, that must have been pretty scary to be in detention with the school bully.

D.B.: It was at first, but then I got to know him.

MR. MIKE: And is he really a good kid?

D.B.: He is OK. He is really angry though. We talked a lot last week.

MR. MIKE: About what?

D.B.: Just stuff. Star Wars, Legos, comic books, sports, and even Jesus.

MR. MIKE: That’s great, D.B. What did you tell him about Jesus?

D.B.: About how wonderful he is and how he could help Peter not be so angry.

MR. MIKE: What did he say?

D.B.: He is thinking about it. I think it helped that I was not all grumpy frumpy about being unjustly put in detention.

MR. MIKE: You remind me of Paul & Silas.

D.B.: Did they have long ears and fuzzy tails, too?

MR. MIKE: No. In our Bible story today, they are unjustly put in prison. They prayed and sang hymns.

D.B.: Well, I did not sing any hymns.

MR. MIKE: That’s not what I…

D.B.: I did sing King of the Jungle. (sings)
Who's the king of the jungle? Hoo hoo!
Who's the king of the sea? Bubba bubba bubba...

MR. MIKE: Very nice.

D.B.: Thank you.

MR. MIKE: My point, however, was that Paul & Silas were in a bad situation, and by God’s power, something good came out of it. In their case, the jailer and his family were saved.

D.B.: Wow! And in my case Peter Bignose heard about Jesus.

MR. MIKE: Exactly.

D.B.: Thank you, Mr. Mike.

MR. MIKE: You’re welcome, D.B.

D.B.: Bye, Mr. Mike.

MR. MIKE: Bye, D.B.