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DO NOT FALL INTO TEMPTATION – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        temptation, faithfulness
SCRIPTURE:    Dan.3:1-30; Matt.26:41; 1Cor.10:13
Style:        satire/conversation:  narrator takes us
.             through the steps of what happened
.             with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego;
.             then puts this event into several
.             situations we might run into today
Cast:         NARRATOR, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego,
.             Nebuchadnezzar, GUARD, EXTRAS
Set & Props:  sound FX of frenzied music from Middle East

SCRIPT:

(NARRATOR wanders onto stage while speaking, like he/she
is doing a documentary.)

NAR.    It was around 600 B.C., back when the Israelites
.       were being held captive in Babylon, that
.       King Nebuchadnezzar made a huge image of gold –

(NARRATOR stops at stage right and motions to a spot.)

NAR.    Imagine it - 9 feet wide and - 90 feet high,
.       which was set up on the plain of Dura.
.       There King Nebuchadnezzar-

(NARRATOR motions to NEBUCHADNEZZAR as he steps out
with his GUARD at stage right, same vicinity as “idol”.)

NAR.    -called a meeting of the masses.

(NARRATOR motions to EXTRAS as they enter stage left.
SHADRACH, MESHACH and ABED-NEGO are amongst them.)

NAR.    Getting everyone’s attention, the king –
.       lay down his new command.

(GUARD claps his hands to get everyone’s attention.
NEBUCHADNEZZAR steps forward importantly.)

NEB.    Whenever you hear the music, you will fall down
.       and worship the golden image.  If you do not,
.       you will be thrown into a fiery furnace.
.                                                       2
(SOUND FX of frenzied music plays.  EXTRAS all fall down
and bow in the direction of the “idol” – all except
SHADRACH, MESHACH and ABED-NEGO, who keep standing tall.
ALL freeze except for the NARRATOR who walks toward
SHADRACH, MESHACH and ABED-NEGO to point them out.)

NAR.    These three young men were Shadrach, Meshach
.       and Abed-nego.  They refused to fall down.
.       And they were thrown into the fiery furnace.
.       God chose to protect them, and they came out
.       of the furnace, not only alive, but unharmed.
.       But before that point, these three young men
.       did NOT know that their lives would be spared.
.       Notice what they told the king while being
.       questioned.

(MAIN CHARACTERS unfreeze.)

NEB.    What god is there who can deliver you from
.       this situation?”

SHAD.   The God we serve is able to deliver us!

MESH.   God will deliver us out of your hand, O king.

ABED    But even if God does NOT deliver us, we refuse
.       to serve or worship any of your gods or idols.

(ALL freeze again.  NARRATOR continues.)

NAR.    Did you all catch that?  They were not going to
.       fall into temptation even if that meant dying.
.       Now in this particular event, when these three
.       young men come out of the fiery furnace –
.       unharmed – King Nebuchadnezzar then blessed
.       the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego,
.       and made a new command - that no one
.       could say anything bad about their God.
.       After witnessing these things, the king realized
.       that there were no other gods this mighty.
.       Now, we may not face this exact situation.
.       So - let us put this into modern times
.       and see what that might look like.

(While ALL stand up again, NARRATOR steps aside.
GUARD claps hands to get attention.  NEB. steps forward.)
.                                                       3
NEB.    Hey, d’you want to hear some interesting gossip
.       about Jill Thompson?

(NEB. crouches down and ALL bow down facing each other,
except for SHAD, MESH and ABED.  After a moment’s pause,
NARRATOR steps forward again.)

NAR.    OR-

(While ALL stand up again, NARRATOR steps aside.
GUARD claps hands to get attention.  NEB. steps forward.)

NEB.    Hey, I know a way to shoplift and get away
.       with it.

(NEB. crouches down and ALL bow down facing each other,
except for SHAD, MESH and ABED.  After a moment’s pause,
NARRATOR steps forward again.)

NAR.    OR-

(While ALL stand up again, NARRATOR steps aside.
GUARD claps hands to get attention.  NEB. steps forward.)

NEB.    Hey, come join me – I know this wicked party
.       we could go to.

(NEB. crouches down and ALL bow down facing each other,
except for SHAD, MESH and ABED.  After a moment’s pause,
NARRATOR steps forward again.  Now, ALL stay frozen.)

NAR.    OR- well – you get the idea.  So even if everyone
.       around you is “doing it”-

(NARRATOR motions to all the ones who have bowed down.)

NAR.    And no matter what the outcome might be –
.       will you simply fall into temptation
.       with the all others,
.       or will you rely on God to help you
.       stay standing?