.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

DEDICATION OF THE WALL – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        joy, glory, salvation
SCRIPTURE:    Nehemiah 12:27-43
Style:        satire, conversation: reporters go out
.             into the streets of Jerusalem to capture
.             the excitement and cover the events
.             of the dedication of the wall
Cast:         DORAN (male reporter),
.             SARIDA (female reporter),
.             DIRECTOR (male or female),
.             NEHEMIAH, WOMAN
Set & Props:  2 mics, clipboard, Old-Testament costumes


(DORAN and SARIDA enter smiling, but shrinking a bit from
the noise.  OPTIONAL: have soundtrack with crowd noise.
If you do, make sure it is more background noise level.
REPORTERS stop walking and face forward to congregation
as if they’re looking into cameras.)

DORAN    Hi, and welcome.  This is Doran and Sarida
.        reporting live from the streets of Jerusalem.
.        We are here to cover the exciting events
.        surrounding the dedication of the wall.

SARIDA   And “exciting” it is!  You can just feel
.        the joy and enthusiasm in the air, today.
.        Certainly everyone from Jerusalem is out
.        to join in the joyous celebrations!

DORAN    Not only from Jerusalem.  There are people
.        coming in from all over Israel.

SARIDA   I see the director of music coming this way.

(DIRECTOR enters carrying a clipboard, acting like
they have to be somewhere important.)

SARIDA   Excuse us, Director?  Do you have a moment?

DIR.     A moment?  Sure.

(DIRECTOR stops beside SARIDA who interviews him/her.)
.                                                      2
SARIDA   So tell us who you are?

DIR.     I’m Chanan, acting as director, of the music
.        which will be presented.

SARIDA   Fantastic!  Tell us, how do you feel?

DIR.     I feel busy!  Not much time to think,
.        but if I’d stop to really think about it,
.        I feel so much... joy. I mean, what else
.        could one feel when you consider everything
.        that has been happening?  How – God has
.        helped us get our act together.

SARIDA   And what is your part in all of this?

DIR.     Well, we’ve been very busy finding
.        as many Levites as possible.

SARIDA   Those Levites really know their music!

DIR.     Exactly!  So for an event as important,
.        and as big as this – we instigated
.        a nation-wide search.  The choirs we’re
.        putting together with these expert singers
.        will be unmatched.  We wanted only the best,
.        as this will facilitate in presenting just the
.        right atmosphere for hymns of thanksgiving.

SARIDA   I cannot wait to hear them.

DIR.     Oh! It’s going to be awesome.  One great choir
.        will be up on that wall over there, (motioning)
.        to the right, and the other great choir there,
.        (motioning) up on the wall to the left!

SARIDA   That’s going to be GREAT! So where are they now?

DIR.     They’re getting ready, along with the priests,
.        who must be purified before the festivities
.        can begin.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got
.        to round up all the musicians.  The harps,
.        lyres and trumpet players are all ready,
.        but I need to hunt down those percussionists...
.        Cymbal-players!  You know?  They tend to be
.        the rowdier types - but we love them!
.                                                       3
SARIDA   What’s a celebration without a bit of noise?

DORAN    I hear that!

SARIDA   (notices)  I don’t believe it.  Nehemiah,
.        himself, is walking this way!

(DIRECTOR dashes off with a nod.  DORAN turns to see
NEHEMIAH enter and starts to interview him.)

DORAN    Nehemiah?  Do you think you could share
.        a few words with us?

NEH.     I would be honored.

DORAN    Oh, no, the honor is ours.

NEH.     Actually, God should get all of the honor!
.        Without God, none of this would’ve been
.        possible.

DORAN    So tell us – how do you feel?

NEH.     Inexplicable joy! What else? There are no words.
.        How else COULD one be feeling right now?

DORAN    But to think that this all happened
.        because of you!  How do you feel about THAT?

NEH.     Humbled!  And again, I have to give God
.        all the glory.  Even though our nation
.        turned our backs on God – and thus – we found
.        ourselves in captivity, God never gave up on us.
.        While I was put in place as a cupbearer
.        for King Artaxerxes, God made sure I had
.        the king’s ear and found favor with him.
.        So much so, that we had King Artaxerxes’ help
.        in the rebuilding of the wall.  Who else
.        could have caused that to happen BUT God?

DORAN    When you think about it – it is mind-blowing!
.        Especially when we take a really honest look
.        at ourselves, and see that we kind of brought
.        all that captivity down on ourselves.  Right?
.        God could have just thrown up His hands and
.        let us keep getting what we really deserved
.                                                      4
NEH.     Exactly!  God not only rescues us from
.        impossible situations, and dangerous people,
.        but God rescues us - from ourselves.

DORAN    God does deserve all the glory!
.        And speaking of giving God all the glory –
.        what else is in store for us today?

NEH.     Well, after the priests have purified all the
.        people, then the gates and the wall,
.        we will be offering great sacrifices to God.

DORAN    I can’t wait.  Thank you so much for
.        giving us some of your time.

(NEHEMIAH nods and exits.)

SARIDA   Such a humble man!  We could certainly learn
.        a few lessons from him!

DORAN    Indeed!  Well, I see we are getting closer
.        and closer to the time of the big event.

SARIDA   Although, I think we have just enough time
.        for one more quick interview.  How about
.        someone from the crowds?

(WOMAN rushes past and SARIDA gets her attention.)

SARIDA   Excuse me!  Excuse me, ma’am?

(WOMAN stops and looks back with pleased astonishment.)

WOMAN    Oh!  Oh?  You mean ME?

SARIDA   Yes!  You!  Come!  Come over here.

(WOMAN approaches with hands pressed against her cheeks.)

WOMAN    You are both my favorite event reporters!

SARIDA   It’s nothing.  Just doing our jobs.

WOMAN    But you want to talk to ME?  I’m just a –
.        just a random woman – I’m nobody special!

SARIDA   We see all people as special, and important.   5
.        So we’d all like to know – on this
.        momentous occasion – how do you feel?

(WOMAN keeps trying to grab the mic away from SARIDA
as she gushes out her enthusiasm.)

WOMAN    Why, this is the most momentous occasion ever!
.        I simply cannot believe it.  I mean,
.        who would ever have thought such a day
.        would ever arrive!  It was just a while ago
.        that things just seemed so hopeless.
.        I mean, captivity!  That’s never good.
.        But it just goes to show you, you should
.        never give up hope.  And lessons learned,
.        we should always be looking to God!
.        I mean, just how many times has God rescued us,
.        anyway?  Huh?  Many times!  That’s what!
.        Hallelujah!  Words cannot express how
.        thankful and full of joy I am.  I mean,
.        all of us!  Including the women and children!
.        Everyone I know is thankful and full of joy!

(SARIDA finally gets her mic back with a smile.  With
flustered joy, WOMAN nods with a smile and rushes out.)

SARIDA   (commenting after WOMAN)  Thank you
.        so much for your time... random lady.
.        Well, as we’ve just witnessed, everyone is –
.        thankful and feeling the joy.

DORAN    We have even received messages from around the
.        nation – all from excited people.  Word sure
.        gets around! As does this feeling of excitement.
.        Feelings can be so infectious.

SARIDA   Especially because there is real hope
.        behind these feelings.  There is a real God
.        who loves us - and rescues us.
.        And DESERVES our full attention.

DORAN    Indeed!  So with that, this is Doran and Sarida,
.        getting ready to join in the celebrations!

(DORAN and SARIDA nod and exit.)