10 Bible Plays for Sunday School Children






Ezra Azra



 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra

 

Photo by Aissa Bouabellou: courtesy of Pexels.
Photo by Aissa Bouabellou: courtesy of Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
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Dedicated to the Sunday School children at St. Michaelís Anglican Church, Rossburgh, Durban, Natal, South Africa, 1957-1962.
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1.

Mary Magdalene and Simon Peter.

Matthew, 26:33. ďThough all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.Ē

Characters:-

-Mary Magdalene. (M)

-Simon Peter. (P)

(The scene is on a road in a City. Peter enters, hurriedly, and furtively. He wears a hood, with which he nervously fidgets, taking it off and putting it back on, repeatedly. Mary enters. For a few seconds she pauses, and silently watches Peter. She is dressed as a man, and wears a hood.)

M: (Stepping toward him.) Peter? (He moves in shock and fear, as he turns to look at her.)

P: Huh! Who are you? (She partially moves her hood to reveal some of her face to him.) Mary?

M: Shhh!

P: Why are you disguised?

M: (Nearly a whisper.) Women are not allowed in the Court room.

P: Oh? Youíre going in there?

M: Yes. Isnít that why you are here? Come on. Letís go in together.

P: Uh, Mary, you go on. Iím waiting for Matthew and Mark and Luke and John.

M: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John?

P: Yes. They should be here any minute!

M: Peter, that bunch is not coming. I tried to talk them into attending the trial, but they refused. They are too frightened. They have taken off to Galilee. Itís just you and me, now. Come on. (He is stunned speechless as he stares at her for a few seconds.)

P: Uh, not just yet, Mary. You go on. Itís safer if we attend separately.

M: Of course. I understand. If they catch you in the company of a woman, they will be extra harsh on you.

P: Yes, yes, Mary. That, too.

M: Too? ďThat, tooĒ? What else is there, Peter? (He steps about nervously.) Peter? This is me. Mary Magdala. We went everywhere with Jesus, remember? (A second of tense silence. Mary continues, softly, compassionately.) Simon Peter?

P: Mary, I did such a bad thing. (Short silence.)

M: Whatever it was, Peter, it could not have been as bad as what I did before Jesus asked me if I would let him be my friend. (She waits. He struggles with his feelings.) Itís all right, Peter. Iíll go in alone. (She moves to exit. He blurts out.)

P: Mary, I denied knowing him. They asked if I knew him and I said no. I was afraid, Mary. So afraid. (A few seconds of pained silence. She speaks softly.)

M: Peter, go home. I will come and tell you what happened in the Court room. (He adjusts his hood, as he exits hurriedly. She looks at him leave. She adjusts her hood, and exits slowly in the opposite direction.)
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2.

The king and Phil.

Genesis, 20:3. ďGod came to Philistine king Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken, is a manís wife.Ē

Characters:-

-Guard. (G)

-King Abimelech. (A)

-Phichol, Kingís Prime Minister. (P)
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(An ante room in a palace. Abimelech enters hurriedly. He is in pyjamas. He is agitated.)

A: Guard! (Guard enters.)

G: Your majesty!

A: Tell Prime Minister Phil to come here right away!

G: Yes, your majesty. (Exits.)

A: (In mightily suppressed towering royal anger.) How dare! How dare he do this to me! I treated him with the deepest kindness. A foreigner, and worshipper of a foreign god! I let him travel through my kingdom, and this is how he treats me! (Enter Phichol, timidly, hesitantly, fearfully.)

P: Your majesty.

A: Phil, that foreigner merchant lied to me!

P: I will have his head chopped off right away, your majesty. (For a few bloody-minded seconds the King stares blankly and silently and sternly at Phichol, before blurting out.)

A: No! No, no, no, no, Phil.

P: (Bewildered.) Your majesty,---.

A: (Pacing about in frustration, and repeatedly thumping a fist into the palm of his other hand.) We dare not, Phil. There are other circumstances. P: As you please, your majesty. What is your command, your majesty?

A: Bring that-----that foreigner to me!

P: Yes, your majesty.

A: Immediately!

P: Yes, your majesty.

A: In his pyjamas!

P: Yes, your majesty. In shackles.

(For a few bloody-minded seconds the king stares blankly and silently and sternly at Phichol, before blurting out.) No. No, Phil, not in shackles. Just pyjamas. No shackles. Just bring him here, immediately.

P: Yes, your majesty. Right away. (Phichol stops in his half-turn, and turns back to the king. He speaks timidly and in fearful embarrassment.) Uh, which foreign merchant, your majesty?

A: The one who so readily gave his sister to me when I asked who she was. P: (Barely audible, pleasantly to himself.) Oh, that one. (To the king.) Yes, I remember him, your majesty. It was I who drew your attention to her when we thought she was his most exquisitely beautiful wife. All of us were and are so happy that she turned out to be his sister, your majesty.

(For a few grim seconds the king stares blankly and silently and sternly at Phichol, before struggling mightily to speak politely.)

A: Yes. Well. Go fetch him here.

P: Yes, your majesty. What about his sister, your majesty?

A: What about his sister?

P: Your majesty, you said he was to bring her to you at the castle tomorrow, your majesty. She is with him in their caravan this night. Should I bring her with him, right now, your majesty? Save them and us the trouble tomorrow, your majesty.

A: (Struggling mightily to speak politely.) No, no, no, no, Phil! Let her be. Just him. Bring only him, Phil.

P: Yes, your majesty.

A: And not a word to him, or to his sister why you are bringing him to me. P: Yes, your majesty.

A: Treat him kindly, with all respect. P: Yes, your majesty. With all respect, even though he has brazenly lied to your majesty.

A: (Softly and resignedly, as he turns away.) Go. Bring him to me.

P: Yes, your majesty. In his pyjamas. Your majesty. (Exits.)

A: (Looking out and up into the auditorium. Speaking slowly and politely and resentfully.) There, god of that foreigner. I am obeying you. You have been most righteously fair to me in warning me. Thank you. (Exits.)

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3.

The damsel that kept the door.

John, 18:17. ďThen saith the damsel that kept the door, unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this manís disciples? He saith, I am not.Ē

Characters:-

-Damsel. (D)

-Peter. (P)

-A few strangers, non-speaking roles.

(The damsel enters, followed by two men, one carrying a small table, and the other carrying a box. She stops, and speaks to them.)

D: Right here, will do. (The man puts down the table. The other man places the box on the table.) Thank you. (The men exit the way they entered. (She makes minor adjustments to the tableís position, and the boxís on the table. She speaks aloud to the audience.) The trial of Jesus of Nazareth is about to begin in this Court. All who want to attend the trial, this way. The admission price is one dollar. Pay me. Exact amount, please. (People enter, each pays her, and they carry on to exit ahead. She takes the money and drops it into the box. Peter enters last, and pays her. Before he can walk on, she speaks to him.) Excuse me, sir.

P: What is it?

D: You are one of the Nazareneís disciples, arenít you?

P: No. I am not.

D: I saw you at that supper table at that hotel. I was one of the waitresses.

P: Lady, if the manís disciples are not allowed at the trial, thatís not a problem with me. I am not his disciple. I have not seen him in my life. Just give me back my money and I will leave.

D: No refunds, sir. You can go in. But you should know that there are police in the Court who are checking everybody. Even if you are not the Nazareneís disciple, you look like one. And the police will not be easy on you.

P: Thanks for the warning. You know, I was just passing through the town. I thought it would be entertaining to see a trial. But if it will bring me trouble, I wonít go in. No refunds, huh?

D: Sorry. I think itís unfair to punish the disciples, that is why I was trying to warn you. But if you are not one of his disciples, please go on in.

P: You say I look like one his disciples you saw at that hotel supper table?

D: Like an identical twin, sir.

P: And you saw that disciple up close?

D: I served the bread. We ran out of bread. I had to run to the bakery for more bread.

P: I think I will not risk the police mistaking my identity.

D: A good decision, sir. Even if they eventually admit their mistake, the police will have put you through a lot of hurtful indignities for days. The police and all the Court officials do not like that Nazarite.

P: Youíve had some bad encounters, yourself? With the police? (She nods slightly.)

D: Sorry I cannot give you a refund, sir. But this evening I will be waitressing again at that hotel. Come for supper and I will give you a discount on some of the items.

P: Thatís kind of you. Uh, where is that hotel? I wasnít there that first time. Remember?

D: Of course. Itís on the next street. Almost directly opposite this Court House.

P: Good. Iíll see you there this evening. (He exits, opposite to the Court House. She exits into the Court House. The two men enter from the Court House. They pick up the table and the box. They exit into the Court House.)

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4.

The dressers of meat.

Genesis, 17:17. 18:7. ďThen Abraham

fell upon his face and laughed.

Abraham ran and fetcht a calf tender

and good, and gave it unto a young

man; and he hasted to dress it.Ē

Characters:-

-Young man 1.

-Young man 2.

(The two men enter, hurriedly. They

stand together, as if preparing to be

inspected.)

1: Whatís all the fuss about?

2: Master Abraham will tell us. He

told me to find someone to help me.

I came to you.

1: Thank you for the opportunity.

2: The whole home is in a flurry since

those three strangers arrived. All

sorts of preparations going on.

1: What will you and I be doing?

2: Iím not sure. Master Abraham has

not yet told me. But I think we will

be dressing meat for a feast.

1: Dressing meat? Iíve never dressed

meat for a feast in my life!

2: Piece of cake. I know it all. I

will teach you. But I chose you

because I do not think itís about a

feast only.

1: What do you mean?

2: I have a feeling thereís something

weird going on. Thatís why I need

someone next to me I can trust.

1: Something weird? Weird like what?

2: Iím not sure. Keep your ears and

eyes extra wide open. When Master

Abraham approached me, he had a

quizzical grin on his face.

1: Quizzical? Thatís a big word.

Explain it.

2: It means he was not as happy as he

was showing.

1: Is that a problem for us?

2: Have you noticed how friendly the

Master is lately with those Ashtaroth

worshippers across the river?

1: Those human sacrifice believers?

2: Uh-huh. And then Master Abraham

approaches me to address meat. Why me?

Why now, when strangers arrive? There

are dozens of experienced meat

dressers working for Master Abraham

from forever. This is my first time

being put in charge.

1: You should have told me this before

you asked me if I wanted to learn to

dress meat for a feast.

2: I know. Iím sorry.

1: Iím out of here.

2: Too late. Thereís Master Abraham.

He is beckoning us to come to him. And

see. Those three strangers are with

him.

1: Ashtaroth believers? (They move

slowly to exit to Master Abraham.)

2: Is that an extra-long carving knife

in his hands? (They exit. The end.)

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5.

The boy slave.

Genesis, 37:27. ďCome, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites.Ē

Characters:-

-Merchant 1. Female or Male.

-Merchant 2. Female or Male.

-Slave. A boy.

(Merchant 1 enters, leading the Slave boy who is blindfolded and has his hands tied with rope the Merchant holds. They exit at the opposite end. Merchant 2 hurries on at the same entrance as the other two. He waits. Merchant 1 re-enters the way he exited with the Slave.)

2: What is it? You said it was urgent.

1: Pack up. We have to get far away from here.

2: We are already mostly packed to leave early tomorrow.

1: One of us has to leave within the hour with the Slave boy we bought, and keep travelling all day. The sooner we cross the border into Egypt the safer we will be.

2: What happened?

1: We made a dangerous purchase.

Didnít you say it was an incredible bargain. A healthy boy slave at that price?

2: Yes. You agreed.

1: We should have waited for daylight.

2: They could not wait. They were already on the road. Whatís the problem?

1: The boy slave by daylight has no markings of a slave on him.

2: He was kidnapped?

1: A possibility. A dangerous possibility is someone is searching for him. If he is found on us by powerful persons---

2: I will leave with him right away.

1: I must go with him. Most of his kidnappers traded with me. If they are caught and are brought here, it will be better if I am not here. You will be able to bluff your way out of it.

2: Good enough. Have you asked him?

1: Yes. But he is surly. He wonít talk.

2: Offer him his freedom if he was not a slave when they sold him.

1: I did that, too. He just closed his eyes and kept silent.

2: Oh, rats! If he is mentally impaired, he is worth nothing!

1: Letís cut our losses and turn him loose.

2: Heís just a boy. The wild animals would get him before sunset. Letís tell him he is free amongst us. He can leave whenever he wishes.

1: (Softly.) Just until we cross the border?

2: If he is not mentally impaired. (They bump fists and exit in opposite directions.)

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6.

The butlerís but.

Genesis 40:14, 15, 23. 41:1. ďThink on me when it is well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharoah, and bring me out of this house. For indeed I was stolen away out of the land.Ē Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him, two full years.Ē

Characters:-

-Butler. (B)

-Jailer. (J)

(The Butler enters. He is dressed as a business person. There is nothing about his appearance to indicate he is a butler. He carries an expensive-looking briefcase. He stands, looks about, casually. The Jailer enters from a different direction. There is nothing about his appearance to indicate he is a Jailer. He looks about, casually. They see each other. The Butler gestures slightly; the Jailer goes up to him.)

B: We spoke over the phone? Youíre the Head Jailor of Pharoahís prison?

J: Yes. And youíre a Private Investigator hired by a Lawyer.

B: Yes. What did we speak about?

J: Information about prisoners.

B: Good. (He takes out a large brown envelope from his briefcase and gives it to the Jailer. The Jailer takes it.)

J: Thanks. Ask away.

B: Youíve been Head Jailer for about three months.

J: Yes. Transferred from another City.

B: How well do you know the Head Jailer before you?

J: I did not know him at all. He died on the job before I was hired.

B: How many prisoners are there in your jail?

J: A few dozens. The exact number changes from month to month. Most die of natural causes. Some are executed for their crimes.

B: How long is the longest serving?

J: Two years. Only one. He is a foreigner. We have very little information about him. He wonít last much longer. His memory is fading. He does not remember why he is in jail, and I have found no records about him beyond a few months ago.

B: The Pharoahís birthday is coming up. He celebrates by pardoning some prisoners. You think that foreigner has a chance?

J: A good chance if someone on the outside asks the Pharoah.

B: Someone like a Lawyer?

J: And his Private Investigator.

B: And youíre certain the foreigner cannot remember anything he could divulge to cause trouble.

J: Absolutely certain. Most of the time he does not remember what day of the week it is.

B: (He discretely gives the Jailer a thumbs-up.) Keep him well. If weíre successful, thereís a fatter brown envelop for you.

J: I will start fattening up the foreigner right away. (They turn away and exit in different directions.)
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7.

While shepherds watched.

Exodus 3:2. ďThe angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush was not consumed.Ē

Characters:-

-Shepherd 1. Female or male.

-Shepherd 2. Female or male.

(The two shepherds enter stealthily, 1 is leading, showing the way.)

1: Shh, he might still be there. (They move to downstage and crouch, facing the audience. They speak at nearly a whisper.) There! See him?

2: Yes. Why is he setting the bush on fire?

1: I donít know. Thatís why I ran to get you. But, the fire has not grown since I was here last.

2: Is he using magic?

1: Or witchcraft. He is that foreigner from Egypt. His weird Egyptian name is Moses; I think.

2: We should report him.

1: Yes. But letís see as much as possible before that.

2: Witchcraft will let him know we are watching.

1: So far, he does not know we are here. It must be just magic. Letís wait until he leaves, and then we can go to the bush and examine it.

2: You can go. Iím not going near it.

1: Oh, come on. Thatís why I brought you here. To help me.

2: If he is using magic or witchery nobody can help anybody. Whatís he doing?

1: Putting on his shoes, I think.

2: He took his shoes off! Thatís witchcraft. Letís get out of here.

1: We are barefoot. We donít even own shoes. We are safe from witchery.

2: Hey!

1: What?

2: Look!

1: Rats! He is coming this way!

2: Run! (They exit, running.)

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8.

A king a god and a witch.

Leviticus, 19:31, ďRegard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord.Ē 1 Samuel 28:7, ďThen said king Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I might go to her, and enquire of her.Ē

Characters:-

-Deeg. King Saulís ruthless General.

-Witch.

(Inside the Witchís home. A loud knocking on the door. The Witch enters, and hurries across the stage to the door. She opens it. Deeg barges in, uniformed and armed. The Witch stumbles backwards.)

D: (He marches about, inspecting the place.) Bring the Witch to me.

W: Sir, I am the Witch. Do you wish my cauldron service?

D: Not for me. For king Saul, two days from now. He comes with an army. Nobody else is to be here.

W: King Saul?

D: Yes, Witch.

W: But, sir, king Saul is anointed king by God. And God forbids my cauldron service to his believers. That is why this home is outside king Saulís kingdom.

D: Thatís a matter between Saul and God. Let it alone. This place is beyond his kingdom, yes. That is why he is coming with an army.

W: Sir, everybody must obey rules of the cauldron, or else the spirits of the cauldron will suck them into the cauldron. Is the king willing to obey?

D: I will tell him. Let him decide.

W: Tell the king he will have to be in close contact with me inside a circle drawn on the floor by the cauldron.

D: Make the circle bigger. It is sacrilege for a peasant like you to touch Godís anointed king.

W: Sir, the circle cannot be made bigger at such short notice. It takes years to grow the ingredients to make the circle. And each circle can be used once only. To earn a living, I have to use small circles.

D: The king will pay you enough for you to be able to retire after his visit. Make a bigger circle, Witch. If you touch the king, I have to kill you there and then.

W: Sir, the spirits will kill anybody who tries to harm persons inside the circle. If you move to hurt me, you will be sucked into the cauldron.

D: Weíll see about that, Witch. I am General Deeg. I serve king Saul, and only king Saul. Tell that to your spirits.

W: They already know, sir. The cauldron spirits know everything.

D: Good for them. I will see you again in two days, Witch. (He moves to exit.)

W: Sir, it will help me prepare if I know now who the king wishes me to conjure up in the cauldron.

D: You do not need the king to tell you that now, Witch. You said your cauldron spirits know everything. (He exits.)

W: (Faces the audience, and smiles wickedly.) I will make the circle so small, to fit into it, the king and I will have to be naked. (She exits.)

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9.

Like father like son.

Jonah 1:1. ďNow the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai.Ē

Characters:-

-Jonah. A young unmarried man.

-Amittai. Jonahís Father.

(Jonah enters, restless. He walks about. Amittai enters, limping, walking with a cane. He stops and looks at Jonah. Jonah does not know Amittai is there, until Amittai speaks.)

A: Jonah.

J: Dad. Itís three in the morning.

A: I know. Iím up because I recognize the signs.

J: What signs, Dad?

A: Our God has visited you. (A long silence.) He visited me before you were born. He wants you to go to Nineveh, that wicked City, doesnít he?

J: Yes, Dad. You never told me.

A: I told your Mom, before you were born. Among her last words was the prophecy our God would approach you, too, sooner or later.

J: Well, it seems whatever you did in Nineveh, Dad, it did not work enough.

A: I did not go to Nineveh, Jonah. (They look at each other in silence, a few long seconds.) In the first place, I did not want to go. I did not say that to God. Your Mom and I were making preparations to be married. Neither of us wanted to go to Nineveh. But we were resigned to marry after I returned. If I returned.

J: But you did not go.

A: I was walking home one day. A freak storm burst out. Lightning hit a tree. The tree fell on me; broke my leg; God let me off the hook; Mom and I got married right away.

J: He could have restored your leg immediately, and still sent you.

A: He could have. Obviously, whatever he wanted to fix in Nineveh could wait.

J: Dad, Iím a long way from marrying, but I, too, do not want to go to Nineveh.

A: Try asking God to spare you. It never occurred to me to ask.

J: You had a powerful reason to be spared Nineveh, Dad. Your tree accident. I have my fear only.

A: And God rejected fear as a reason in Moses for not wanting to return to Egypt.

J: Next to Moses, Dad, I am less than an utter nonentity. (A long pause.)

A: (Softly.) We can hope lightning will come to our rescue, again.

J: Unfortunately, Dad, lightning never strikes a place twice.

A: Remember that other higher law of physics, Son: in the infinite universe, whatever happens once, will definitely happen again. (He exits.)

J: (Softly.) Thanks, Dad. (Exits after Amittai.)

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10.

The stowaway.

Jonah 1:4, 5. ďThe Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.Ē

Characters:-

-Captain of the ship.

-Sailor.

(Both enter, pushing a huge box. They pause, to rest.)

C: We are most fortunate. The storm did not cause serious damage.

S: Yes, Captain. Not a man lost. No injuries.

C: Has anyone identified the owner of that bag of clothes?

S: Not yet, sir.

C: Iím beginning to think we had a stowaway.

S: Lost overboard during the storm, sir?

C: Why not? A stowaway would not know his way around the ship in a storm.

S: A lost stowaway means a lot of paperwork when we dock, sir.

C: Paperwork and investigations. That will mean a long delay in our sailing out.

S: A stowaway is only an idea, sir. We have no hard evidence. Do we even need to report the bag of clothes, sir?

C: Youíre right. We could quite properly store the bag in the shipís lost-and-found.

S: Forever.

C: If need be. (Silence for a few seconds.)

S: A horrible thought just occurred, sir.

C: Do I need to hear it?

S: Itís about the ship, sir.

C: I need to hear it. Proceed, Sailor.

S: What if we find a corpse, sir? The storm could have lodged it somewhere hidden, for the time being.

C: Until it began to stink up the ship.

S: Precisely, sir.

C: Spread the word quietly, Sailor. If anyone comes upon a corpse when we are at sea, they are to secretly ditch it overboard.

S: Yes, sir. Took the thought right out of my head, sir.

C: Good. Now letís push this box overboard, and wish thereís a corpse inside it. (They laugh as they push the box offstage.)



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