.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

TOPIC:       choosing between good & evil
SCRIPTURE:   Gen.2:8-17; Lk.16:13
Style:       allegory, the barter tempts people to
.            make alternative decisions in different scenarios
Set & Props: table, white cup, black cup,
.            little cards w/choices written out


(BARTER stands at a table with a white and a black cup
in front of him/her.  He addresses the BUSINESSMAN
as he approaches.)

BARTER     Step right up-step right up, sir.
.          Make your decision... You have
.          an opportunity for a promotion at work.
.          (points to white cup)
.          Do you work hard and just HOPE you get it?
.          (points to black cup)
.          Or do you lie and take credit for
.          other people’s work to get ahead?

(BUSINESSMAN hums and haws, while a LADY walks by.)

BARTER     Tempting, isn’t it?  You think about
.          that for a minute – about how much
         you want that promotion.
         (to LADY)  Excuse me Ma’am, step right up.
.          You have a decision to make...
.          Your best friend, Teresa, tells you
.          something in confidence.  After a while,
.          Rosie comes to you with a personal problem.
.          It would really help her to know
.          that there are other people
.          with this same problem.
.          (points to white cup)
.          Do you keep quiet and just listen?
.          (points to black cup)  Or do you tell Rosie
.          TERESA'S secret – to, you know, help her?

(A TEENAGER approaches and watches.  LADY reaches for
white cup but accidentally knocks over black cup, gasping.)
.                                                          2
BARTER     So, you share Teresa’s secret.

LADY       I didn’t mean to - it was an accident –
.          it-it just slipped out –

BARTER     (picks up card underneath cup & reads)
.          Well, Rosie and Teresa talk, and Teresa is hurt.
.          No one can trust you anymore.

LADY       Do you I have another choice?

BARTER     Of course. (points to white cup)
.          Do you apologize and risk rejection
.          for a second time?  (points to black cup)
.          Or do you lie and gossip about Rosie –
.          about how she is such a busybody
.          and likes to eavesdrop, so at least
.          you can keep TERESA as your best friend?

LADY       (immediately points to white cup)
.          I can't.  I already feel so guilty,
.          I just can’t live with myself anymore.

BARTER     (turns over white cup, reads card)
.          "Your friends forgive you and you build
.          their trust again with deeper friendships."

(LADY sighs in relief and walks away with a smile.
BARTER looks at BUSINESSMAN who still paces the floor,
then looks up in prayer.)

BARTER     Not sure yet? - Take your time – But just
.          think about all that money and power.
.          (to TEEN)  Step up and make your decision...
.          You want your friends to think you’re cool,
.          but when they ask you to shoplift –
.          (points to white cup)  Do you tell them
.          shoplifting is NOT cool and end up having
.          to make new friends?  (points to black cup)
.          Or do you go ahead and steal the makeup?

(TEENAGER reaches for the white cup but
accidentally-on-purpose knocks over the black cup.)

TEENAGER   OOOPS!!! I didn’t just do that!

BARTER     (knowingly picks up the card to read)            3
.          You did!  But "you get away with it
.          with no consequences – but you feel
.          a little guilty."

TEENAGER   (flippantly) Oh - okay.

BARTER     There's another choice.  Do you return
.          the makeup, and then have to make new friends?
.          (points to black up)  Or do you keep going?

TEENAGER   (pointing defensively to black cup)  
.          It’s NOT EASY making new friends!

BARTER     (turns over black cup & reads)  
.          "You tell yourself the guilt you're feeling
.          is just a rush, so you continue to shoplift
.          for the thrill of it.  Eventually you
.          get caught stealing an Ipod-"

TEENAGER   (tapping black cup angrily)  I didn’t do it!
.          Someone slipped it into my bag!

BARTER     (reading)  "As it is your first known offense,
.          you get off with just a warning.  But you
.          continue to steal and eventually you must
.          go to prison."

TEENAGER   As in jail?

BARTER     You made the choice.

TEENAGER   But – can’t I choose –

BARTER     WHAT - choose your consequences?
.          You can only choose your actions.

(TEENAGER walks away with head hanging down.

BUSNSSMAN  I am ready with a decision!  I’d be a fool
.          if I didn’t make THIS one.

(BUSINESSMAN picks up the white cup.)

BARTER     (reads note) "You are overlooked for
.          that promotion - you do NOT get the raise-"
.                                                           4
BUSNSSMAN  Well, at least I don’t have the stress
.          of guilt – or jail!

BARTER     " - but - your hard work does not go
.          unnoticed and you get an even better promotion
.          in the near future."

BUSNSSMAN  (looking up) Thank you for Your guidance!

BARTER     Hey, You make the decisions, I only provide
.          the– alternatives. (tapping black cup)

BUSNSSMAN  Oh, I wasn’t thanking you.