Mt. McKinley in Alaska, originally known as Denali, "the Great One." .... "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge..." (Ps. 61:2-3)

       "Who do you say that I am?" Jesus asked.  Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."  And Jesus answered, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! ... You are Peter (petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church..."  Jesus then began to speak of the rough road ahead. And Peter took him aside and rebuked him... "Get behind me, Satan!" Jesus replied. "You are a stumbling block..."
                                                (Matthew 16:13-23)

May these words of this Peter be like a rock,
not a stumbling block!

"In Godís House"
A three-act worship comedy

Drama presented December 28, 2003
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Glen Arm, Maryland USA

based upon Luke 2:41-52 and Colossians 3:12-17 

Order of Worship

         All three portions of this drama take place in a car - with three seats up front diagonally placed so that all participants can be see by the congregation. The mother (M) is in the drivers seat in the first two acts, with the father (D) beside her. In the third act, they trade places. The son (S) is seated in the "back" seat of the car behind the parents (though clearly visible to all due to the diagonal placement of the chairs). He (S) is not in the second act.

Act One

(from home to church)

S - Dad?

D- What, son?

S - Are we almost there?

D- Almost... I think.

S - You donít know?

D- Well, your mother is driving.

S - Huh?

M - What your father is trying to say is that he doesnít know.

S - Why donít you know, Dad?

D- Iíve never been to where weíre going before.

S - Mom has?

D- Yes, she has. These are her relatives.

M - You remember Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty, donít you?

S - No.

M - Sure you do. Actually, theyíre my aunt and uncle, but weíve been to their home many times.

S - Is that the place with the little "hot dog" dog?

M - Yes, I thought youíd remember.

D - Who could forget that yappy mutt!

M - You never did like that dog, did you, dear?

S - He did bark a lot, didnít he Dad?

D - (mumbling) Just like his mistress.

M - Hush! Thatís no way to speak, especially after Christmas.

D - Well, she does go on and on and on.

M - Just because you prefer to plant yourself in front of the TV whenever we visit...

D - Bowl games werenít meant for conversation.

S - But, Dad, you always talk to the television during a game.

D - Thatís different. You donít see Uncle Joe chattering away in the second half.

M - No, usually by then heís snoring away.

S - (loudly imitates Uncle Joeís snoring)

D - (laughs) Thatís about right.

S - Dad, weíve been to their house before. How come you donít know how long till we get there?

M - Because weíre meeting them at their church this time.

S - Their church?

M - Yes, we thought weíd go to church together.

D - Your mother thought it would be a good idea.

S - You didnít, Dad?

D - Well, yes ... but ... err ... I ... itís ... (stumbling for words)

M - What your father is trying to say is that his wife is a very wise woman.

D - Whom I listen to ... some of the time.

S - Is this church like our church?

M - Well, kind of.

S - Will they have a childrenís story?

M - I donít know. Weíll have to wait and see.

S - Will Dad sing there like he does at our church?

D - What do you mean?

M - I know exactly what he means. Yes, son, your Dad will sing all the notes - just not at the same time as everyone else.

D - Are you implying that I donít know how to sing?

M - Not at all! You are just a Ďcreativeí singer.

S - Like I was being Ďcreativeí when I forgot to take off my muddy boots in the house last week?

M - Sort of like that, yes.

D - Gee, I get no respect in this family.

M - We love you, dear!

S - Will we be going to Sunday School, too?

D - Well, no.

S - Weíre not going to Sunday School? Thatís the best part.

D - Son, itís not our church. The only people we know there are Joe and Betty.

S - Why go to church if you donít go to Sunday School?

M - The truth is, dear, that more relatives are going to be coming to Uncle Joe and Aunt Bettyís home this afternoon, and she needs to get home as soon as possible after church to get ready.

D - Yes, son, thereís going to be a big meal. All sorts of good stuff. Your Mom is going to help get ready.

M - So is your father!

S - But why canít we go to Sunday School. Doesnít that happen before church, like where we go?

M - No, this church is a little different. Sunday School comes after worship here.

S - Canít we stay?

D - Listen to your mother, son. Sheís the Ďwise one.í Even if weíd rather do something else.

M - Yeah, like you really wanted to stay for Sunday School.

D - Actually, Iíd rather skip church altogether.

S - But, church is important, Dad!

D - Youíre absolutely right!

M - You better agree on that one!

D - Yes, dear.

S - Canít we stay for Sunday School?

M - You donít know any of the children, or the teacher.

S - That doesnít matter.

M - Iím sorry. We do need to get back to the house quickly. But Iím glad you feel the way you do, honey.

D - Maybe another time weíll come and stay.

M - Really?

D - Donít push it.

S - (dejectedly) I guess itís okay.

D - Hey, did you bring your football? Maybe we can toss it around before the meal.

M - In the snow?

D - Hey, weíre tough guys! Right, son?

S - Yeah! ... Tough guys!

M - Okay, you "tough guys." Hereís the church. Letís find Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty. They said theyíd wait outside for us...


Act Two

(from church to Aunt/Uncleís home)

D - Iíve got to admit, that is a friendly church.

M - Now, arenít you glad we came.

D - I confess that I was dreading it. After all, we donít know these people.

M - But we do know Joe and Betty. The place reminded me of them.

D - Yeah, the preacher did kind of go on and on and on...

M - He did not!

D - Were you looking over at Joe?

M - No, why?

D - You know what he does during the football game?

M - He didnít!?

D - Didnít you see Betty poking him in the ribs?

M - No. I was paying attention to the service.

D - So was I!

M - Besides, if Uncle Joe was sleepy, maybe he needed that kind of rest.

D - Iíll remember that the next time you poke me in the ribs.

M - I was surprised you actually were a bit closer to being on key during the hymns.

D - Why, thank you. I live to please.

M - Then, again, itís hard to mess up Christmas carols.

D - Your confidence in me is amazing.

M - Did you get something out of the service?

D - Yes, I did.

M - Like what?

D - Like the sermon. I was listening.

M - Really? What was it about?

D - Umm.. Ah.. Give me a minute.

M - Huh! I thought so.

D - Come on, bear with me. Hey, thatís it. "Bear with one another." Wasnít that the title?

M - Ah! So you can read the bulletin.

D - No, I was listening. He spoke of how we give each other a bit more slack at Christmas, and how we should extend that beyond the holidays. You know, starting the new year off on a note of forgiveness and all.

M - Iím impressed.

D - Of course, itís all good and well to talk about forgiveness. Itís another thing to do it.

M - I suppose your right.

D - Whoa! You admitting I might be right about something! Whereís a tape recorder when you need one.

M - Donít stretch it.

D - Speaking of "stretch," are you sure the little monkey is with Joe and Betty.

M - He asked if he could ride home with them instead of us, and I let him.

D - He does seem to like them.

M - He should. They were my favorite Aunt and Uncle growing up.

D - Iíve got to admit I was surprised he really wanted to go to Sunday School.

M - Yes, he was pretty insistent about it - though he did agree, finally.

D - I wasnít big on Sunday School when I was his age.

M - Maybe you just didnít have a good teacher.

D - You got that one right. It was sooo boring, if I remember correctly.

M - Weíre blessed his Sunday School teacher is so good.

D - Yeah. Iíd never have guessed that Ralph, of all people, would connect so well with kids.

M - The children love him. Heís like a big bear.

D - Reminds me of a linebacker.

M - With a few years on him, that is.

D - Well, of course. But, he looks like he could. Maybe thatís why the boys look up to him.

M - He knows his Bible, thatís for sure.

D - Better than I do.

M - But he doesnít pound it over the kidsí heads.

D - Maybe thatís why our son likes Sunday School.

M - Possibly. Hey, look, there they are, ahead of us.

D - Are we almost home.

M - About a block, I think.

D - Do you see him in the back seat?

M - (pause and squint) Now that you say that - no, I donít.

D - He isnít a big guy. He could be there.

M - Or maybe heís lying down.

D - You did say something to Joe and Betty about him coming home with them, didnít you?

M - Yes... I think I did... No, wait... Did I?

D - Either you did or you didnít.

M - I canít remember.

D - You donít think he "arranged" to be left behind, do you?

M - Now, donít jump to conclusions, dear.

D - He was pretty adamant about staying for Sunday School.

M - He wouldnít purposely disobey us, though. Would he?

D - Heís your child.

M - Hey, heís your kid, too.

D - So help me, if he did this, heís got some answering to do.

M - Look, theyíre getting out of the car.

D - I donít see him.

M - Oh, dear.

D - Leave the car running. Iíll go check. We may have to go back to the church.

M - Try to remain calm, hon. Remember, "bear with one another..."

D - Yeah, but this papa may be one grizzly bear.



Act Three

(from church to Aunt/Uncleís home)

D - Iím pretty disappointed in you, son.

M - You really had us worried for a while.

S - Why were you worried?

M - All sorts of things can happen nowadays. There are people in this world who might take advantage of a young boy.

S - I know about "stranger danger," but this was church.

M - I hate to say it, but even church is not totally safe - especially when we donít know anybody at this church.

S - We know Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty.

M - Yes, we do know them, but...

D - Thatís beside the point, son. We told you what the plan was, and you disobeyed us.

S - I didnít do it on purpose, Dad.

D - Explain yourself.

S - Well, after Mom said it was okay that I go with Aunt Betty and Uncle Joe, I went over and stood with them.

M - Good. Thatís what you were supposed to do.

S - Then I looked away, and the next thing I know, they were gone.

D - And?

S - Well, I looked for them, but I couldnít find them. Iíve never been to this church before.

D - You should have come looking for us.

S - I did. I couldnít find you either.

M - Oh, honey, Iím sorry. Did you get scared?

S - I started to, then this really nice lady came up and talked to me. She asked who I was, and if I wanted to meet some other children.

D - Did you say, "No, my mom and dad have other plans."

S - Not exactly.

D - What "exactly" did you do.

S - Well, I told the truth. I did want to meet those other kids.

D - Even if we said, "no!"?

M - (to husband) Letís back off a bit, dear. Itís not like he did something bad.

S - Yeah, Sunday School is good, isnít it?

D - So, thatís where you went, Sunday School.

M - Yes, thatís where I found him.

D - Even though we said, "no."

M - Remember, honey, "pick your battles."

D - (pause to exhale, count to 10, etc.) Youíre right... Okay, did you learn anything in Sunday School?

S - Well, I had to leave before we got to the craft part.

M - Iím sorry I had to take you out. We do need to help Aunt Betty get ready.

S - Thatís okay. The Bible story was about Jesus as a boy.

D - Oh. Was it about him learning his fatherís trade - about being the son of a carpenter.

S - No, it was about when they went to Jerusalem as a family.

D - (pause) Why do I get the feeling I know where this is going?

M - Would you like some "crow" for dinner, dear? Go on, son.

S - Well, after they went to the Temple, everybody headed home. Only, when they were part way back, Mary and Joseph couldnít find Jesus.

D - And they raced back to the Temple to find him, right?

S - Yeah, Dad. You know the story?

D - Yes, I do.

M - Pretend we donít. What happened next.

S - Well, they looked all over and finally found him talking to a bunch of teachers. Can you imagine that? All those teachers were learning something from a kid!

D - Imagine that!

S - His mom found him, and she was really upset.

M - I can understand why.

S - She scolded him for staying behind. I guess she was worried about "stranger danger," too.

M - Maybe so.

S - Anyway, Jesus said, "why were you looking for me? Didnít you know Iíd be in my fatherís house?"

D - His fatherís house?

S - Yeah, his fatherís house. He was talking about God.

D - I gathered that much.

S - His fatherís house was where he belonged, thatís what he said.

D - Indeed. I get the point, son.

S - Youíre doing better than Joseph.

D - Really?

S - Yeah. The teacher said that Jesusí parents didnít understand him.

M - Parents arenít perfect, you know. We mess up some times.

S - Thatís okay. So do kids. I imagine even Jesus got in trouble sometimes as a kid.

D - You think so?

S - Well, the Bible says that after they went home, Jesus obeyed his parents.

M - Wouldnít that mean he didnít mess up?

S - Come on, Mom. He was still a kid. All kids make mistakes sometimes.

D - Even when theyíre trying to obey their parents?

S - Of course. Jesus probably should have told his parents before he stayed in the Temple.

M - Maybe they wouldnít have let him.

S - Maybe. But the Bible says to honor your parents.

D - That it does.

S - I know he was in his fatherís house. His real father was God, you know.

D - I do believe youíve already made that clear.

S - But Joseph and Mary were important, too. He shouldnít have worried them.

M - Like your own parents, huh?

S - Yeah.

D - Maybe we should get this in writing. He may forget it when heís a teenager.

M - Hush!

S - Iím sorry I worried you guys.

M - Youíre forgiven.

D - Ditto.

S - Do you think that next time we can stay for Sunday School?

D - I knew that was coming. Yes, son. Next time we will.

S - I belong in Godís house.

M - Mind if I remind you of that in a few years?

S - Sure, mom.

D - How about tossing some football when we get to the house, son?

S - Not till we finish helping Aunt Betty get ready, though.

M - "And his mother treasured all these things in her heart."

D - Somehow, I knew that one was coming, too.

online resources for Luke text and Colossians text

For commentaries consulted, see Luke and Colossians.

©2003 Peter L. Haynes
(you are welcome to borrow and, where / as appropriate, note the source - myself or those from whom I have knowingly borrowed.)

return to "Messages" page

return to Long Green Valley Church page