Thursday, October 23, 2014

Communion Etiquette

Scripture Reference:  1Corinthians 11:17-34
            MELISSA – cannot stop talking and fidgeting during Communion.
            COREY – clowns around during Communion trying to make MELISSA laugh.
            HANNAH – knows the proper way to celebrate Communion.
            NARRATOR – controls and comments on the action.
            ALEX – usher serving Communion; not impressed with MELISSA and COREY's antics.
            Communion elements
(Scene opens with MELISSA, COREY, and HANNAH sitting as if in church facing the audience.  MELISSA and COREY can be seen  playing around and talking, but we cannot hear them.  HANNAH is sitting quietly.  The NARRATOR stands behind them.)
NARRATOR:  Presented for you consideration.  Three young people preparing to celebrate Communion:  the Talker, the Clown, and the Worshipper.  Let's see how each takes the Communion bread.
(MELISSA and COREY  are so busy talking that MELISSA does not notice ALEX trying to serve the bread.  Finally, ALEX nudges MELISSA who takes the tray.  MELISSA picks through the tray to find just the right piece.  She finally takes one and passes the tray to COREY.  MELISSA fiddles with her bread, passing it from one hand to the other.
COREY takes one, tosses it the air, and tries to catch it in his mouth.  He then takes another and tries it again.  After several attempts, COREY sees the dirty looks from HANNAH and ALEX.  COREY takes one and passes on the tray to HANNAH.  COREY sticks the bread in his pocket.
HANNAH takes a piece, hands the tray to ALEX, and sits quietly holding the bread in her closed hand.
MELISSA eats her bread.
MELISSA and COREY start talking again while HANNAH sits quietly.)
NARRATOR:  So kids, who did the bread correctly?  (Wait for responses.)
(Standing behind MELISSA.)  Who are we suppose to pay attention to during Communion?  (The pastor.)  Do we touch all the bread before taking a piece?  (No.)
(Standing behind COREY.)  Are we suppose to play with the bread?  (No.)  What are we suppose to do with the bread?  (Hold it in our hand.)
(Standing behind HANNAH.)  We are suppose to pay attention to the pastor and be ready to take the tray when it is handed to us.  We don't play with the bread.  We hold it in our hand and wait for the pastor to say that we can eat it.  (Looks at MELISSA, who looks sheepish.)
After the pastor says they can eat the bread (HANNAH eats the bread)…  (Looking at COREY,) AFTER THE PASTOR SAYS THEY CAN EAT THE BREAD…  (Startled, COREY removes the bread from his pocket and eats it.)  After the pastor says they can eat the bread, the juice is served.
(MELISSA and COREY are so busy talking again, that MELISSA doesn't notice ALEX standing next to her with the juice.  ALEX finally has to nudge her.  MELISSA takes a very long time trying to pick just the right cup.  She finally picks one, takes the tray, and pass it to COREY.  MELISSA holds her cup in the air looking at the light through the cup.
COREY nearly spills the tray trying to balance it while finding the cup he wants.  COREY then holds the tray for HANNAH but keeps moving it as she tries to take a cup.  COREY sees the dirty looks from HANNAH and COREY then finally holds the tray still for her to take a cup.  COREY and MELISSA start comparing notes on their juice.
HANNAH pass the tray to ALEX then sits quietly holding her cup.)
NARRATOR:  So kids, who did the juice correctly?  (Wait for responses.)
(Standing behind MELISSA.)  Are we suppose to be talking to our friends during Communion?  (No.)  Is there any difference between the cups?  (No.)  No, just take one.
(Standing behind COREY.)  Grownups can usually handle holding the tray and taking a cup.  It is  a good idea to let an adult hold the tray for you and pass it on.
(Standing behind HANNAH.)  We are suppose to be quiet and be ready to pick a cup of juice when it comes to us.  Just take one, they are all the same.  We hold the cup in our hand and wait for the pastor to say that we drink it.
The pastor then says they can drink the juice (MELISSA and HANNAH drink the juice – MELISSA tosses her cup over her shoulder; HANNAH holds her cup)…  (Looking at COREY,) THE PASTOR THEN SAYS THEY CAN DRINK THE JUICE…  (Startled, COREY holds the cup with his lips and throws his head back to drink the juice.  MELISSA laugh then notices that no one else is laughing.  She faces forward and looks serious.  COREY cracks the cup in his mouth then takes it out.  HANNAH rolls her eyes.)
(Standing behind MELISSA.)  What are we suppose to do when we are through drinking the juice?  (Hold on to it.)
(Standing behind COREY.  Pauses.  Looks down at COREY.  Shakes his head and rolls eyes.)  Don't even think about it.
(Standing behind HANNAH.)  We are suppose to hold our cup until everyone is finished.  We then pass the cups to the center aisle where the usher will pick it up.  (MELISSA crawls on the floor to retrieve her cup and passes it to COREY.  COREY puts is crushed cup in MELISSA's and passes it to HANNAH.  HANNAH stacks her cup and passes them to ALEX.)
NARRATOR:  Communion is suppose to be a celebration.  We are suppose to be joyful as we reflect on the awesome gift of God's grace.  But it is also a serious time as we reflect on Jesus' sacrifice.  That means we can be happy – we can be very happy – but we don't play around.  If we'll all do that, Communion will be more enjoyable and meaningful for you and those around you.

Let's give a hand to Melissa, Corey, and Hannah for all their help.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Filled with the Holy Spirit

Scripture Reference:  Acts 3-4

A lesson about the power of the Holy Spirit.
We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. – 1 John 3:16

            PROPHET – a Bible prophet

A representation of the Holy Spirit (e.g., flaming tongue, dove, cloud) lowered on a string.

The opening monolog can be shortened or lengthened as necessary.  The point is that without the Holy Spirit he is just a clanging cymbal.
The message of the closing paragraph can be modified to have different content according to your needs.

(The PROPHET enters.)

PROPHET:  (in a stammering, halting manner) G-g-g-g-ood m-m-mor…, um, G-g-g-ood m‑morning, b-b-b-oys and g-g-girls.  I, uh, I, uh, I, uh, I would like to – well, I don't know if I would like to as much as I need to – well, need may be too strong…  A‑a‑anyway, God – I-I-I mean the Lord – w-well, the Lord God – He, uh, He, uh, H‑h‑he w-w-wants you to know – well, you probably already know – well, you may not actually know, but you've told – well, maybe you haven't been told, but someone has been told th-that God – I-I-I mean the Lord – w-well, the Lord God – He, uh, He, uh, H‑h‑he really – and when I say really, I mean really, really – He really…

(the PROPHET pauses and takes a deep breath)

PROPHET:  Dear God, please send Your spirit and give me the words to speak?

(the Holy Spirit starts to lower then touches the PROPHET)

PROPHET:  (in a confident, firm manner)  The Lord God wants you to know that you must change your hearts and lives!  Turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.  God has raised up his servant Jesus and sent him to you first to bless you by turning each of you away from doing evil.  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

NARRATOR:  "After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly."  [Acts 4:31 (NIV)]