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EASTER JOURNEY – SUFFERING TO GLORY
.                                - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        the road of suffering to glory
SCRIPTURE:    Mt.16:21-28, Luke 24:25-26
Style:        drama/conversation: Disciple Peter
.             struggles with the situations they face
.             and create during the time of Christ's
.             death and resurrection
Cast:         PETER, ANDREW (Peter’s brother),
.             CLEOPAS, SALOMÉ (Cleopas’s wife)
Set & Props:  4 bundles (for Cleopas & Salomé,
.             2 of them can be strapped to their backs)

SCRIPT:

SCENE 1:

(PETER storms onto stage and paces, upset with himself.
ANDREW follows, shaking his head.)

ANDREW   Peter, why do you do this?  Why do you speak
.        without thinking?  Who do you think you are
.        to rebuke and challenge our Teacher?  Huh?
.        How many times must He rebuke and challenge YOU?

PETER    I know!  I know!  I am completely aware of this!
.        Believe me when I say – every time it happens –
.        I could kick myself.

ANDREW   Y-well – ah - that’s just – and you should –
.        and -

(ANDREW stops himself and spends some time thinking
before he speaks.  PETER gives up waiting and continues
to pace.  ANDREW finally nods when he is ready.)

ANDREW   Peter, you are my brother, and I - love you.

(PETER pauses to look at ANDREW questioningly.)

ANDREW   So, let me tell you... as a brother...
.        I’ve seen you do this sort of thing
.        all your life, pretty much -

PETER    ONLY when I’m around people.  See?-This is why
.        I love fishing so much.  Fish do not provoke me
.        to just blurt out things.  Usually.  
.                                                       2
ANDREW   Well, Jesus has called you to do something else.
.        So now you just need to learn to –
.        stop doing that, that blurting-out-thing.
.        Or, ah, just restrain yourself –
.        even if it’s just a little bit.

(PETER balks at ANDREW and jumps in with his tirade.)

PETER    Did you not just HEAR what Jesus told us?
.        It is INSANE to speak of something like that.
.        To predict that oneself has to suffer and
.        die?  What kind of talk is that?!  I’ll TELL you
.        what that is...  it is sealing His own fate!  

ANDREW   But Jesus also mentioned glory and the kingdom.

PETER    Andrew, wake up.  Jesus included us in this
.        path of suffering.  I do not like the sound
.        of it at all.  I will do whatever it takes
.        to stop this madness.

ANDREW   Didn’t Jesus also tell us - this is what
.        God wants?

PETER    How could that be what God wants?  I can’t
.        understand that.  And if Jesus is to be killed,
.        then - are we all to be killed too?
.        No!-Unacceptable!

ANDREW   Maybe we misunderstood exactly what He
.        was saying?  It’s happened before.
.        We could go and ask Him.

PETER    (swings around to ANDREW)  Go ahead.  Ask Him.

ANDREW   I was thinking – YOU could be the one to ask,
.        since you like hearing yourself talk so much.
.        (PETER continues his intense stare.)
.        I mean, since you are - the boldest among us.

PETER    (gasping then laughing sarcastically)
.        Ah, well, thank you for the flattery,
.        but I refuse to be your scapegoat.
.        After Jesus rebuked me like that, I must say,
.        I’m – a little afraid to question Him right now.

ANDREW   I was actually thinking you could approach Him -
.        you know - with an attitude of humility –
.        and a little less - interrogation.
.                                                       3
PETER    (giving it some thought)  What if –
.        we just try to keep our ears open?
.        Maybe Jesus will talk about this again.
.        In fact, I’m sure He’ll talk about this again.

(CLEOPAS and his wife, SALOMÉ, wander up to the stage
carrying bundles in their arms and on their backs.
They talk as they approach the two men.)

CLEOPAS  There they are.

SALOMÉ   Are you sure?

CLEOPAS  Yes, I’m pretty sure.  I recognize one of them.

SALOMÉ   They don’t exactly look like disciples of Jesus.

CLEOPAS  HOW are they to look?

(PETER hears voices and turns to CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ.)

PETER    Who are you?

CLEOPAS  Oh, hi.  I am Cleopas, and this is my wife –

SALOMÉ   (sets down bundle) - I’m his wife, Salomé.

CLEOPAS  We are here to follow Jesus.  

PETER    Being a follower of Jesus is NOT an easy road.
.        Do you NOT have children at home to care for?

CLEOPAS  No – all our children are grown – (overlap)

SALOMÉ   Oh no - All our children are grown
.        and married – with children of their own.
.        Our oldest son, Eli has 5 – with another
.        on the way – But it’s NOT like we’ll get
.        to see the babies much –

(CLEOPAS puts a calming hand on her shoulder
as SALOMÉ continues to carry on.)

SALOMÉ   That MOTHER-in-law of his, is bound
.        and determined to keep living with them
.        just so she can be the favorite nana -

CLEOPAS  (to DISCIPLES)  Don’t worry, she’ll get around
.        to giving birthdays and names yet.
.                                                       4
SALOMÉ   Of course, there’s Jonathan who’s going
.        to be -

PETER    Still –

SALOMÉ   Still?  (to CLEOPAS) What were we talking
.        about?

PETER    Suffering!  I don’t think this is for -

ANDREW   Peter!  (to SALOMÉ)  I apologize for my brother,
.        (eyeing PETER)  who also needs to work on
.        his attitude of encouragement.  I’m Andrew.

PETER    I just don’t want them to have
.        any unrealistic expectations, that’s all.
.        It’s a life of rejection and at times,
.        starvation –

SALOMÉ   Ah, we could stand to lose a few pounds.

PETER    You’re not seeing the reality –

ANDREW   (to PETER)  And YOU are forgetting another part
.        of the reality, Peter.  To follow Jesus is
.        a blessing.  Remember back in the city, Nain,
.        when Jesus raised that young man from the dead –
.        and how the people glorified God after that?
.        Sooo many people believed -

CLEOPAS  Yes-yes-from everything we’ve heard about Jesus,
.        we want to know more.

SALOMÉ   We really do.  And we’re ready to go anywhere.

CLEOPAS  Anywhere.

ANDREW   Well, if you really mean that, come this way,
.        then.

(ANDREW leads the way.  PETER stops to observe
SALOMÉ trying to lift up the bundle.)

PETER    Here, let me help you with something.

SALOMÉ   Thank you.

(PETER picks up the bundle.  SALOMÉ follows PETER out.)

SCENE 2:                                                5

(PETER walks onto stage.  He is distraught and angry
at himself and the situation.  ANDREW rushes on,
followed by CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ.  All are very somber,
SALOMÉ dries her tears.)

ANDREW   There you are!  I’ve been looking everywhere
.        for you..

PETER    I want to be alone.

(PETER turns to look at the couple.)

PETER    Why are you two still following us?
.        Jesus is dead.  He told us this would happen.
.        There’s nothing we can do anymore, that’s why
.        most of the disciples have left.

CLEOPAS  Then everything Jesus taught us is still true?

ANDREW   Yes, of course, it is.

(CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ try to reason things out.)

SALOMÉ   So He’ll come back?  He told us He would.

CLEOPAS  Yes, and we all saw Jesus bring people back
.        to life after they had been dead for
.        a while.  (long pause)

ANDREW   But HE is dead.  Jesus is dead.  How could He
.        bring Himself back from the dead?  

(CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ hang their heads in dismay.)

PETER    Look, just, go your own way.  Go home,
.        see your children, and all your grandchildren,
.        and live good lives.

SALOMÉ   But there has to be more.

PETER    Jesus is dead and buried.  It’s done.
.        I’m thinking of going back to fishing.
.        Fishing is an honest way to make a living.

CLEOPAS  But Jesus taught us about a life of freedom.

(SALOMÉ remembers an example and adds to this.)

SALOMÉ   Yes, remember when we all split up and         6
.        went out to all the different cities?
.        We suffered some rejection, like in...
.        Bethsaida and Capernaum, but then, in others,
.        the people there were so excited to hear
.        what we had to say about God and
.        they changed their ways.  We must remember that
.        and how joyous it was.  

CLEOPAS  Yes, don’t you think we should continue that?  
.        Spreading the good news about new life
.        and freedom?

SALOMÉ   Maybe THAT is the glory Jesus talked about?  

CLEOPAS  Despite suffering, God can still be glorified.

PETER    You just don’t understand.  Things didn’t
.        work out the we thought they would.
.        It’s over.  Don’t you see?  It’s done.

ANDREW   (sincerely) Peace to you, and your family.

(ANDREW hugs CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ.  PETER turns away,
so CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ leave.  ANDREW turns to PETER.)

ANDREW   I understand if you feel sorrow for Jesus’s
.        death, and anger for what has happened, but you
.        should not take it out on the rest of us.

PETER    It’s more than that, Andrew.  

(ANDREW stands looking at PETER’S back, not knowing what
to say.  PETER swings around when there is no response.)

PETER    WHAT – was it all FOR?
.        (ANDREW remains silent, trying not to think.)
.        See!  You do not have any answers, either!
.        Maybe you’re even avoiding the questions,
.        but my mind is flooded with them, and
.        they are all eating me up inside.
.        We all went through SO much – hardships
.        and suffering – to what?  Only to then
.        helplessly sit by and watch and wait while
.        Jesus went through untold amounts of torture
.        and suffering and death.  What now, brother?
.        A lot of us said that we would follow Jesus
.        wherever He went.  Can we follow Him now?
.        Is that even possible?

ANDREW   (thinking, then finally...)                    7
.        In principle.  We can follow Jesus in principle.

PETER    Ah!  I was wondering when your simplistic answer
.        would come.  At least I have not been let down
.        in that respect.

ANDREW   YOU alone feel let down?

PETER    Again, it’s more than that...  I have let
.        myself down - and I let Jesus down.  Once again,
.        I shot off my mouth saying I would defend Jesus
.        EVEN if I had to die for it.  But instead -
.        I denied Him – three times – just like He said
.        I would.

ANDREW   You’re only human.  What?  You think you could
.        have stopped all this from happening –
.        all on your own?

PETER    I guess we’ll never know, now will we!

ANDREW   I see that there’s no pleasing you right now.
.        (turns to leave.)

PETER    Where are you going?!

ANDREW   (ironically)  As I was saying.
.        (PETER crosses his arms, in no mood for sarcasm)
.        I thought you said you wanted to be alone.

PETER    (thinks while running a hand through his hair)
.        I do...   (ANDREW turns to leave)  AND I don’t.

ANDREW   (stops, turns slowly)  And you expect to have
.        both your ways at the same time?

PETER    You know me well.

ANDREW   I’ve known and worked with you for many years.
.        (thinking, becoming compassionate and softer)
.        Come, my brother... let us fish.
.        (puts a calming hand on PETER’S shoulder)
.        Being on the sea, far from all the people,
.        and far from this situation, will give us
.        plenty of quiet time to be together -
.        but alone in thought.

(With arm around his shoulder, ANDREW guides PETER off.)

SCENE 3:                                                8

(ANDREW and PETER enter just as CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ walk
up aisle toward the stage.  They shout as they approach.)

CLEOPAS  Peter!  Andrew!

(ANDREW nudges PETER to bring him out of his revere.)

ANDREW   Hey!  There’s Cleopas and Salomé.
.        (to the COUPLE)  We’re just on our way
.        to see how the others –

SALOMÉ   (shouting and out of breath)  We saw Him!

(ANDREW and PETER stop to look at each other, confused
as to what they could mean.)

CLEOPAS  We saw Jesus.

PETER    (confused)  They put His body back again?

ANDREW   You mean you went to His tomb.

SALOMÉ   Well, yes, we did that too.

CLEOPAS  We saw the tomb all right, even the inside.

PETER    (frustrated)  Yes-yes, so did I.  So what!
.        Stop babbling and speak straight!

(ANDREW puts a calming hand on PETER’S shoulder while
they wait for CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ to reach them.)

SALOMÉ   Some of the women went down to the tomb
.        in the early morning.  But it was empty.

CLEOPAS  Some angels appeared to them and told them
.        that He was alive.  

PETER    Yes-yes-yes!  Mary already came and told me
.        this, so John and I had to go see for ourselves.
.        Jesus’s body WAS gone, but there were no angels
.        to be seen either.  So - you’re ALL still
.        sounding pretty much like crazy people.

CLEOPAS  Of course, so WE had to go see for ourselves.

SALOMÉ   We got there, and the tomb WAS empty.

PETER    (angry)  I know!  Someone must have stolen     9
.        His body!

CLEOPAS  Yes!–No!  I mean, that is ALSO what we thought.
.        But as we were heading back, I guess I was so –
.        (becomes analytical) blinded by anger or grief –
.        or – something – I just wasn’t seeing right.

SALOMÉ   We were on the road back to Emmaus, when this
.        man just happened to be walking right beside us.
.        We must’ve been babbling out loud or something–

PETER    (crossing his arms in front)  You mean,
.        much like you’re doing right now?

SALOMÉ   Probably, because He just started talking to us.

CLEOPAS  He said something like “How foolish are you,
.        and how long will it take to believe all that
.        the prophets have spoken.”  And...
.        “Didn’t Christ have to suffer these things,
.        in order to enter His glory?”

SALOMÉ   Yes, that is what He said.

CLEOPAS  And then He went on and on, telling us about
.        ALL the scriptures that have been written
.        about Jesus.

SALOMÉ   Well, by then it was getting dark –

CLEOPAS  Did you want me to tell the story, or - ?

SALOMÉ   Yes.  Sorry.

CLEOPAS  It was getting dark -

SALOMÉ   It was very dark and He still had further to go,
.        so we convinced Him to come stay at our house.

(SALOMÉ looks at CLEOPAS nodding to carry on.  As soon
as he’s about to start talking, SALOMÉ cuts back in.)

CLEOPAS  We served Him bread -

SALOMÉ   Fortunately I had made bread the day before,
.        so - we could serve Him SOMETHING for supper.

(SALOMÉ looks at CLEOPAS to carry on.  He opens
his mouth, but pauses to look at SALOMÉ, who nods.)
.                                                      10
CLEOPAS  So...

(CLEOPAS gives one more suspicious look at SALOMÉ
then continues very cryptically, like giving clues.)

CLEOPAS  He took the BREAD... BLESSED it... and BROKE it.

(SALOMÉ nods along with each point in agreement,
then CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ both stop wide-eyed as if ANDREW
& PETER should be able to fill in the blanks, nodding
as if to prod.  ANDREW & PETER motion in different ways
for them to finish their odd little story.)

CLEOPAS  He BLESSED the bread... and then - BROKE it...

SALOMÉ   And then GAVE us some...

(CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ pause again, with excitement.)

PETER    So what?

ANDREW   THEN – what?

(CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ pick up the tempo again to explain.)

SALOMÉ   Well, we then realized – it was HIM!
.        It was Jesus!

(PETER and ANDREW don skeptical expressions.)

CLEOPAS  As I was telling you, I was so distraught and –

SALOMÉ   Discouraged –

CLEOPAS  Like I was in shock, in my own little world –
.        So I really wasn’t paying much attention to
.        anything around me.  You know, we had had so
.        much hope when we went to see the tomb, and
.        then it was EMPTY –  WHAT were we to think?

SALOMÉ   You see, this was just plaguing our minds.
.        We were completely... oblivious.

CLEOPAS  Oh, that’s a good word for it, dear.  But
.        do you see?  Jesus was right there! –  

SALOMÉ   Alive.  He was alive again, just like He said.
.        (to CLEOPAS)  Maybe it was like we were –
.        stunned by His glory?
.                                                      11
PETER    Are you sure you weren’t seeing a spirit?

(CLEOPAS and SALOMÉ look at each other.)

CLEOPAS  Flesh and blood.

SALOMÉ   (nodding)  VERY real.  He ate my bread.

ANDREW   (still not sure)  We’re going to meet with
.        the others.  Did you want to join us
.        and tell them what you just told us?

SALOMÉ   Oh... well, what if we go tell a FEW more people
.        and THEN we can meet up with everyone.

(CLEOPAS nods his agreement, eager to continue.)

CLEOPAS  You go on ahead.  We want to keep spreading
.        this good news.

SALOMÉ   Who should we tell next?

CLEOPAS  Ah, what about Shem and his family?
.        (both talk as they rush off stage)

SALOMÉ   Good idea.  That’s on the way to Nahor’s house.

CLEOPAS  (yells back to PETER and ANDREW)  Shalom!

SALOMÉ   Peace be with you!

ANDREW   (turns to PETER who remains stunned)
.        NOW what do you think?  When Jesus was alive,
.        He DID say He was going to die and then
.        come back again after three days.

PETER    I’m afraid to think, I mean, I can’t STOP
.        thinking...  What if this is true?  What - if?
.        Then I would have to face Him.  Can’t think
.        about that right now.  Because maybe it’s
.        not true.  But then – well – I DO believe –
.        I just don’t really understand HOW...
.        (excitement builds)  Although - it – it WOULD
.        make sense?  It DOES MAKE SENSE! – Andrew?
.        (turns, sees ANDREW walking away)  ANDREW!

ANDREW   I’m going to find the others.

(PETER rushes to catch up.)