Ophelia and the Alive Again Feast!

By Michelle Pitman


Ophelia the caterer is preparing a feast to celebrate the resurrection of Lazarus.


Ophelia, a cook


[Ophelia is frantically stirring a large pot of Lamb Stew.  She notices the congregation.]

Hello! You’re here again!  I’m Ophelia from Ophelia’s Kitchen – the best little catering service in Galilee.  Remember me?

You’ll have to excuse me today coz I am absolutely flat out!  I have a celebration meal to prepare and you’ll never guess whom for! Yes,  I know you think it’s for the Master and his disciples and you’d be right. But this meal is for a dear, dear friend of ours.  Lazarus!

I just can’t believe he’s back!  Five days ago he was so ill we knew the end was close.  He died quite quickly, which was a blessing as he was so weak and in such pain.

Poor Mary and Martha – they don’t have husbands and, well, Lazarus was the only protector they had.  A woman needs a man in this culture or she's treated like dirt.  A male in the house gives a woman credibility, security and social standing.

They do have many friends and I’m sure some of those friends would have taken Mary and Martha on as a part of their households, but it just wouldn’t be the same for them without Lazarus.

And Lazarus: never a kinder, sweeter, more gentle man could you meet!  Did those girls spoil him rotten!  He hardly had to lift a finger when he got home. He’d just sit in his favourite chair by the fire and let them wait on him hand and foot.  Sometimes I’d tease him and tell him that he didn’t have women for sisters but a couple of devoted puppies!  He was never insulted, but he’d laugh and look at them affectionately.

Mind you!  When the Master became their close friend, Mary did a lot less fussing over Lazarus.  She’s a thinker that one, and she’d make every opportunity to sit at Jesus feet listening and asking lots of questions.  It used to frustrate Martha no end with all the work to be done around the house and with all those guests to feed, but I guess they’ve worked it out now.

{sigh} But! When Lazarus died!  Oh how we cried.  Mary and Martha had sent word to the Master on the other side of the Jordan River to come quickly and help Lazarus.  You see!  The Master has a gift – a wonderous gift from Yahweh!  He can heal any sickness that ever there was – why I’ve even heard he gave sight to a man born blind!

Mary and Martha knew this and they believed – we all of us believed that when He came, Lazarus would be well.  But it was not to be.  Lazarus died very quickly and we buried him in a tomb.

We stayed with Mary and Martha for a few days.  Heaven knows, those girls wouldn’t have eaten or drunk a thing if I hadn’t been there to make sure they got food in their bellies and some proper rest. It was a very sad time, I can tell you.  Mary kept wanting to know if anyone had heard from or seen the Master.  Over and over she kept crying out for him.  The poor child was distraught for days.

I was just about down to my last lamb shank when I heard the Master had come. As soon as Martha heard he was here she stormed out to meet him.  She didn’t tell Mary and I could see the fire in her eyes.  I think she was going to give him a dressing down and, well, I didn’t blame her.

I don’t know what happened but when Martha came back she went over and whispered in Mary’s ear. Well!  Mary just about leaped over all the people in the house.  She flew out of the room and some of us thought she was going to do something rash at Lazarus's grave, We ran after her to make sure she’d be okay.

Hmmpf!  We had some professional mourners amongst us, too. They followed us out thinking we were going to wail at the tomb I guess. But Mary went to find the Master and threw herself sobbing at his feet.  She told him that Lazarus wouldn’t have died if He’d been here.  Then the Master cried, too, and we wondered what it all meant.  He seemed sad enough but somehow he seem frustrated – probably with that rent-a-mourner crowd, I suspect!

I was telling you before about the gift of the Master.  How he can heal any sickness.  Well!  This will really amaze you.We took the Master to the tomb, and then he said, “Take away the stone”.

We couldn’t believe our ears, and we told him that the smell would be pretty awful after four days.  That’s right!  Lazarus had been dead four days before the Master came.  But he asked us again to roll away the stone.  Some of the bigger blokes had to do it because it was so heavy.

Then the Master stood and prayed aloud to Heaven and the next thing.  Oh!  This is incredible!  The next thing we see a body dressed in funeral garb come staggering out of the tomb. Everyone just froze on the spot, then Mary ran over to this apparition and took off the face cloth and it was Lazarus.  It was Lazarus, I tell you!  He was hale and hearty, with colour in his cheeks and he was glowing with health and vitality.  He was alive!  So very, very alive!

Many people believed in the Master after that.  Even some of those professional mourners!

So, here I am frantically trying to get a meal together from whatever bones I have on hand for all those people; the disciples, the Master, Mary and Martha, and especially Lazarus.  We are having a celebration feast.  Lazarus our – my – friend is alive again and it’s just too fantastic for words. Everything dead is alive again!  Well!  Except for the lamb in this stew I suppose! But even these poor stewing bones will give life to our feeble bodies, if I have my way!

Do you know what?  I think I’m going to save the biggest bone for the Master!

See you!
© Michelle Pitman 1999, all rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any
entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what
purpose the play is performed. She may be contacted at: michelle_pitman@hotmail.com