.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2014
.                 refer to

WHEN WE WERE CHILDREN – written by Tanis Harms

PREMISE:   the Easter story is told through a few
.          biblical characters as they remember back
.          to when they were children and compare things
.          to what is happening at the moment
STYLE:     program with drama and music
TOPIC:     we need hope, salvation, love, grace
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:3

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.                    CENTER STAGE


GROUP    (chr)  “Prepare ye the way, the way of the Lord.
.          To open up our ears to hear God’s word.
.          To open up our eyes to see the Truth.
.          To open up our hearts to better know the way.
.        (bdg) There’s a voice
.          just crying out, calling out.
.          Can you hear the voice?
.          It’s telling us to shout it out.
.        (chr)  Prepare ye the way, the way of the Lord.
.          To open up our ears to hear God’s word.
.          To open up our eyes to see the Truth.
.          To open up our hearts to better know the way.”

.                   SCENE 1 - HOPE
.                     STAGE LEFT

(As adults, JOHN enters, while calling out.  
RUEBEN follows and gets his attention.)


RUEBEN     John the Baptizer! are you a prophet
.          or the Messiah?
.                                                     2
(JOHN studies RUEBEN’S face for a moment, unsure.)

JOHN       Rueben?

RUEBEN     John?!  I- barely recognize you.  Well?...
.          Could you possibly be the Christ?

JOHN       Do you not remember when we were children?

(JOHN and RUEBEN freeze while...)

.                    CENTER STAGE

(As children, RUEBEN and GIRL 1-2 enter, playing.  
JOHN follows behind, seemingly lost in thought.  
RUEBEN looks behind and calls out.)

RUEBEN     John!  John!  What is taking you?

GIRL 1     Rueben, you know how John is –
.          he’s probably just daydreaming again.

JOHN       I’m thinking - and praying.

(CHILDREN are curious and approach.)

GIRL 1     Why?

JOHN       Right now in Hebrew school,
.          we have been learning about our Messiah.
.          According to the scriptures written by Daniel,
.          He should be coming any time soon.

GIRL 2     How will we recognize Him?

RUEBEN     It could be anyone of us.

JOHN       NOW who has been daydreaming?
.          Did you not pay attention in class?

RUEBEN     I was too hungry.  And Rabbi Jacob
.          loves to go on and on and on about things.

JOHN       Well, the Rabbi was telling us that
.          the Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem.
.          I was not born in Bethlehem.  Were you?
.                                                       3
RUEBEN     No.

JOHN       AND – the scriptures say that -
.          “His goings forth are from long ago,
.          from the days of eternity.”

GIRL 2     What does that even mean?

JOHN       That our Messiah – will be God, Himself.
.          Who else is eternal?  And because God is Holy,
.          that means, the Messiah will be without sin.
.          I know very well - I - am not perfect.

(CHILDREN exit.)

.                     STAGE LEFT

(As adults, JOHN picks up the conversation with RUEBEN.)

JOHN       So you see, I am not the Messiah.
.          I baptize with water;  but One is coming
.          who is mightier than I, and I am not fit
.          to untie His sandals;  He will baptize you
.          with the Holy Spirit and fire.

RUEBEN     We are all waiting.  How much longer
.          must we wait?

JOHN       Have faith.  There is hope.
.          Remember, God keeps His promises.

.                    STAGE RIGHT

NAR. 1     “In the beginning was the Word,
.          and the Word was with God,
.          and the Word was God...
.          And the Word became flesh,
.          and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory,
.          glory as of the only begotten from the Father,
.          full of grace and truth.
.          John (the Baptist) testified about Him and
.          cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said,
.          “He who comes after me has a higher rank than I,
.          for He existed before me.”’”
.          (John chapter 1, verse 1, 14 and 15.)

.                    CENTER STAGE                    4


GROUP      (vs.1)  “God is our hope, from darkness,
.          as He brings us out and into the Light.
.          God is our hope, He will bless.
.          Jesus shines on us, and keeps us in His sight.
.          (vs.2)  God is our hope, our answer.
.          He keeps promises, for He is faithful.
.          God is our hope, it is clear,
.          Jesus hears our prayers, and is always mindful.
.          (vs.3)  God is our hope, from darkness,
.          as He brings us out and into the Light.
.          God is our hope, He will bless.
.          Jesus shines on us, and keeps us in His sight.”

.                 SCENE 2 - SALVATION
.                     STAGE LEFT

(As adults, ADINA approaches MARY, both carry baskets.)

MARY       Adina!  How are you doing?
.          It has been quite a while!  

ADINA      Mary!  So glad to see you!  We are all good.
.          And it has been a while.
.          Since the wedding, in fact.
.          Oh! And I was so busy with that,
.          I completely forgot to thank you - for
.          helping out with the wine-shortage situation.
.          People are still gushing on and on about how
.          that was the best wine they have ever had.

MARY       Do not thank me.  Thank Jesus for that.

ADINA      I’m sure He’s far too busy to talk with me.
.          You can thank Him FOR ME. You ARE His Mother,
.          after all.

MARY       Really, you should thank Him, yourself.
.          I did not do anything except ask Jesus
.          to help with that.

ADINA      Exactly!  And you got your way by asking.
.          Remember back when we were children?

.                    CENTER STAGE                       5

(As children, MARY and ADINA and GIRLS 1-2 enter,
all holding their own dolls.)

GIRL 1     I’m so glad my chores are done.

GIRL 2     We have a bit of time before dinner.

ADINA      So, what are we going to play today?

MARY       House!

ADINA      Mary, you always get your way.
.          We always play house.

GIRL 1     Yeah, I already live in a house.

GIRL 2     We could play – tent.  That’s different.
.          We can pretend that we are living in tents.

MARY       Sure!  A tent is a kind of house.  We can play
.          house-tent.  And I will be the mom.

ADINA      Mary, you’re always the mom.  What if
.          someone else wants to be the mom today?

MARY       Well, how about - we all can be a mom.
.          See?  We all have our own babies.

(MARY rocks and shushes her doll, maybe singing a lullaby.  
GIRL 1-2 copy her.  Meanwhile, ADINA holds her doll
upside-down by a leg.)

ADINA      I think I would rather make designs
.          with rocks in the sand- instead.

GIRL 1     That sounds like fun.

(MARY notices how ADINA is holding the doll.)

MARY       Adina, you are holding your baby all wrong.

ADINA      It’s just a doll.

MARY       Right now, it’s a real baby,
.          and it’s not very happy.
.                                                      6
ADINA      (gasping and holding the baby properly)
.          I think the babies need to sleep now.

MARY       (gently)  They just woke up.

GIRL 2     (shrugs)  I guess they just woke up.

ADINA      I think my baby wants to go make designs
.          with rocks in the sand.

GIRL 1     That sounds like fun.

MARY       Babies should not play with rocks.
.          They could swallow one.

GIRL 2     (shrugs)  I guess that would be dangerous.

MARY       (to ALL)  Come on, let’s go play
.          with our babies.  SAFELY!

(ALL exit, ADINA rolling her eyes as she follows.)

.                     STAGE LEFT

(As adults, ADINA addresses MARY.)

ADINA      And somehow, you seemed to always
.          get your way.

MARY       I’m sorry.

ADINA      At least it usually was not in a rude way.

MARY       Still, that was still wrong of me to
.          manipulate all of you like that.  Really.

ADINA      So, you will talk to Jesus for me?
.          You are His mother, after all.
.          He will listen to you and do ANYTHING for you-

MARY       Adina, listen.  I am just an earthly mother,
.          who is like everyone else – a sinner!
.          Jesus is the Son of God, who wants to have
.          a personal relationship with everyone.

(MARY and ADINA exit.)
.                                                  7
.                    STAGE RIGHT

NAR. 2     “Someone said to Him, ‘Behold,
.          Your mother and Your brothers are
.          standing outside seeking to speak to You.’
.          Jesus... answered, ‘Who is My mother
.          and who are My brothers?’  And
.          stretching out His hand toward His disciples,
.          He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!
.          For whoever does the will of My Father
.          who is in heaven, he is My brother
.          and sister and mother.”
.          (Matthew chapter 12, verses 47 to 50.)

.                    CENTER STAGE


GROUP      (vs.1)  “We all have sinned, and lost our way,
.          We all need a Savior.
.          We all like sheep have gone astray,
.          We all need a Savior.
.          No one is righteous, no not one.
.          We all need God’s only Son.
.          We all need a Savior.
.          (vs.2)  We all want love, and joy and peace,
.          We all need a Savior.
.          We all need grace, from sins release,
.          We all need a Savior.
.          Asking forgiveness with humble hearts
.          Brings us freedom, new life starts.
.          We all need a Savior.”

.                   SCENE 3 – LOVE
.                     STAGE LEFT

(As adults, MARY and MARTHA enter to talk.)

MARTHA     I do not understand
.          why - I – was reprimanded.
.          I was working hard while you
.          were just sitting there and doing nothing!

MARY       Martha, I was listening to Jesus.
.          What He had to say was very important.

MARTHA     And what I was doing - was NOT important?    8
.          I do not understand why Jesus defended you.  
.          Mary, do you actually think that you
.          are better than me?

MARY       I do not understand why you see this
.          as a competition.  You always have.

MARTHA     I have not!

MARY       Martha!  Remember when we were children?

.                    CENTER STAGE

(As children, MARTHA catches up to MARY while carrying
an armload of firewood.)

MARTHA     Mary, Mom told you to help me.

MARY       She did not!  Martha, I have already
.          finished my chores.  I am now going
.          to spend some time with Dad.

MARTHA     Why?

MARY       Because... I love him, and I just like
.          spending time with him.  We talk, and
.          he teaches me different things about life.

MARTHA     Well that will not earn his love.

MARY       What?  Dad loves both of us – just because.

MARTHA     Mary, I have heard that every man likes to eat
.          and have a clean house.  That includes Dad.
.          So I’m going to work very hard,
.          so that he sees everything I have done.  
.          And then, he will love me all the more.

MARY       Dad loves us exactly the same, no matter what.

MARTHA     He will see me working hard, and know that - I -
.          love him more;  and he will see you just
.          sitting right there - NOT doing anything.

MARY       Spending time with someone IS doing something.
.          Having a relationship - is showing love.  
.                                                    9
MARTHA     Doing things for people is showing love.
.          Now, we need to sweep the kitchen.

MARY       I just swept the kitchen.

MARTHA     Well, it needs sweeping again!
.          Things keep getting messy –
.          and we have to keep cleaning it up.

MARY       Including relationships.

MARTHA     How in the world do relationships get messy?

MARY       There are so many ways.  Why, Dad and I were
.          talking about that - just the other day.

.                     STAGE LEFT

(As adults, MARY and MARTHA continue talking.)

MARY       The main thing is that our relationship
.          with God needs cleaning up.  And the only way
.          we can do that – is if we go to Him.

MARTHA     But we ARE to serve God.

MARY       Yes, but that will not make God love us more.
.          God wants to have a relationship with us,
.          and Jesus is the only way!  Do you think
.          your way is better than God’s?  Listen, to be
.          a child of God, you must know Jesus personally.

.                    STAGE RIGHT

NAR. 3     “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them,
.          and they follow Me;
.          and I give eternal life to them,
.          and they will never perish;
.          and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
.          My Father, who has given them to Me,
.          is greater than all;
.          and no one is able to snatch them
.          out of the Father’s hand.
.          I and the Father are one.”
.          (John chapter 10, verses 27 to 30)

.                    CENTER STAGE                      10


GROUP      (vs)  “God’s gift to us is free,
.          It cannot be earned.  He loves us so.
.          A child of God He wants us to be.
.          Forgiveness and grace He does bestow.
.          (bdg)   When we believe He saves us.
.          Jesus is the only way.
.          He died and rose again for us.
.          For all our sins He did pay.
,          (vs)  God’s gift to us is free,
.          It cannot be earned.  He loves us so.
.          A child of God He wants us to be.
.          Forgiveness and grace He does bestow.”

.                  SCENE 4 - GRACE
.                     STAGE LEFT

(As adults, PETER and ANDREW enter, in the middle of a
deep conversation.  PETER is visible upset with himself.)

ANDREW     Peter, I do not understand why you are
.          still so upset with yourself.

PETER      For so many reasons, Andrew.
.          So many reasons.
.          You’re my brother,
.          you know very well that my main talent
.          is sticking my foot into my mouth.
.          How many times did Jesus
.          have to rebuke me?  But far worse,
.          just like Jesus said I would –
.          I betrayed Him – three times.
.          And before that - I actually thought
.          that I would be able to save Jesus.  Ha!

ANDREW     The reason why Jesus died, and then rose again
.          was to offer salvation to us.

PETER      Well, of course, it’s fairly obvious
.          that - I - need saving!

ANDREW     We all do.  Peter, remember when we
.          were children?

.                    CENTER STAGE                     11

(As children, PETER is very riled up, but ANDREW
firmly pushes PETER away from some sort of altercation
to help calm him down.)

ANDREW     Peter, calm down.  Take a breath.

PETER      Why?  Why are they so stupid?

ANDREW     Well... Let’s think about this for a moment.
.          What – would Dad say... (thinking, thinking-)

PETER      (admitting)  Okay – I’m the stupid one.

ANDREW     And stop putting yourself down.
.          We were ALL being stupid, yes?-
.          BUT - we can now choose to be wise.

PETER      How can I come back from THAT? (pointing)

ANDREW     We apologize?

PETER      But, why should I?  Do you know how many times
.          they have said something bad about us?

ANDREW     I don’t know-

PETER      EIGHT!  EIGHT TIMES!  I’m done!

ANDREW     You’ve been counting?  Well, okay then,
.          so how many times have YOU hurt THEM?

(PETER makes a series of faces as he thinks and counts.)

ANDREW     Peter, face it, we know it’s a lot.

PETER      I WANT to do better!

ANDREW     Well I know that.  And
.          I also want to do better.

PETER      WHAT is my problem?
.          I’m such a loser.

(PETER walks off sulking.  ANDREW follows.)

.                     STAGE LEFT                       12

(As adults, PETER and ANDREW continue their discussion.)

PETER      See, nothing has changed.

ANDREW     A LOT has changed.  Jesus rose from the dead.
.          His work on the cross offers forgiveness.
.          And – Jesus just gave you an opportunity to
.          express your remorse- and how much you love Him.
.          Remember, Jesus did say that you were going
.          to be used by Him to help build His Church.

PETER      And just why would God choose me?  Even though
.          I do not want to, I still make mistakes.

ANDREW     Ah- I’m quite sure God already knows that.
.          We’re ALL sinners, deserving death.  And now
.          we have found an everlasting forgiveness.
.          (laughing)  Look, consider your gifts
.          for a change!  You are definitely zealous,
.          and not afraid to speak out about Jesus!

PETER      Well, I’m just a walking testimony – PROOF -
.          that God is able to use ANYBODY who is willing!

(PETER cracks a smile, then exits with ANDREW.)

.                    STAGE RIGHT

NAR. 4     “In Him we have redemption through His blood,
.          the forgiveness of our trespasses,
.          according to the riches of His grace
.          which He lavished on us.
.          In all wisdom and insight...”
.          (Ephesians chapter 1, verses 7 to 8)

.                    CENTER STAGE


GROUP      “God is our saving grace
.          Once His forgiveness we choose.  
.          He has us firmly in His hand.
.          Nothing can shake us loose.
.          Confidence in His might we can stand.
.          This is our good news!”