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Summary: A modern retelling of Jesus welcoming the children.
Style: Dramatic  Duration: 10min
Scripture: Matthew 19:13.15
Actors: 3M, 2C

Characters
TOM:    Disciple of Jesus – positive, big-hearted, merciful, with clipboard, pen, paper and envelope.
PHIL:    Disciple of Jesus – likes an argument, negative, judgmental with binoculars, with clipboard and pen.
JESUS:  Himself.
JACK:    Boy in red T-shirt.
PHOEBE: Girl.

Script
(Jesus is sitting at the edge of the stage, looking off stage. He has just answered some difficult questions, spent a long time healing people and being followed by a large crowd. He looks tired and is resting.)

PHIL:    [enters holding a clipboard and pen. He is counting up figures on the board. He is in a bad mood. He speaks to TOM who follows him on stage] I don’t know how Jesus puts up with it! How can he stand it Tom?
TOM:        [enters, he has a clipboard, pen, paper and envelope] What’s the matter Phil?
PHIL:    I’ve been counting how many people Jesus has spoken to so far today. 193! 193 people. He doesn’t get a moment’s peace.
TOM:        That’s why he’s here – for other people. He likes being with people. He loves them!
PHIL:        If it was me, I’d tell them all to go away.
TOM:        [laughing] Good thing he’s not you then! [TOM starts to write]
PHIL:        What are you doing?
TOM:    Writing thank you letters for my birthday presents. [To audience:] Do you have to do that – write thank you letters? {Yes? No?} I know it’s boring, but it has to be done! [He looks at PHIL wandering around stage , kicking imaginary stones] What’s up now, Phil?
PHIL:        I think we should protect Jesus more, you know.
TOM:        Protect him? From what?
PHIL:        From the people who keep bothering him.
TOM:        But he doesn’t mind it. He likes being bothered by people. He loves them!
PHIL:        It’s just not right!
TOM:    Ok Phil, calm down. [He puts an envelope on the ground] That’s one thank you letter done. [Tom tries to change the subject] How’s your family Phil? Your wife, Lizzy?
PHIL:    Lizzy’s fine – although she’s spending more time following Jesus around than is good for her! I don’t know when she’ll get the ironing done. Oh! It’s Thursday isn’t it? She’s here on a school trip today!
TOM:        With Jack and Phoebe? [He stands up to look for them]
PHIL:    Yes! Now, where are they? [Using binoculars he looks around for them in the crowd. He can’t see well so he rushes up into the pulpit or climbs onto on a box or chair. He points to the back of audience] Over there, I think, I’m pretty sure that’s them. [He comes down from pulpit] Lizzy likes helping out on school trips with the kids.
TOM:        [He looks towards where PHIL was pointing] That’s good. Have they come to see Jesus?
PHIL:        No, I don’t expect so.
TOM:        No?
PHIL:        Well, Jesus isn’t very keen on children.
TOM:    Are you sure? That seems a bit strange. [To audience] Do you think Jesus likes children? {Yes? No?} I think he does.
PHIL:    Now, adults… he can put up with adults, but little children? [PHIL shakes his head] Ah, ah, no, I don’t think so.
TOM:        Why do you say that?
PHIL:    Jesus can have meaningful conversations with adults can’t he? But children… they don’t really understand his teaching.
TOM:    [To audience:] Are you too young to understand? {Yes? No?} [To PHIL:] I suppose some of them may be a bit young to understand, but…
PHIL:        And they are so messy! Dirty hands and faces – they’re not exactly nice to look at.
TOM:    [To audience:] Are you messy? Maybe you were earlier. This is messy church after all! [To PHIL] I don’t think it matters to Jesus what people look like…
PHIL:    [He interrupts] .And they are so noisy! [He puts on a child’s voice] Give me this! Give me that! Are we nearly there yet! [PHIL puts his hands over his ears] Far too noisy.
TOM:        But they’re just being children.
PHIL:        That may be so, but Jesus doesn’t want the noise and the bother.
TOM:        But Phil he loves…
PHIL:    [He interrupts again …and the running about! Have you seen how much energy they have? [PHIL charges around the stage demonstrating running about.] It’s just not right!
TOM:        Of course it’s right, Phil. It’s normal for children.
PHIL:     [reluctantly] Yes, I know – I do have children myself. [He remembers his children are nearby] I wonder if the kids they are coming this way [He gets his binoculars out and scans the crowd. He points] There – you can just about see Jack – can you see him? With the red T-shirt on? [He passes the binoculars to TOM]
TOM:        [He looks through the binoculars to where PHIL is pointing] Oh yes. There’s a whole             crowd of kids –are they his classmates?
PHIL:        Must be. [PHIL looks at the kids, then at JESUS] Oh no! Oh dear…
TOM:        What’s up?
PHIL:    There are coming this way. If they speak to Jesus too, that’ll make it over 200 people in one day. I must stop them. [PHIL rushes up into the pulpit/ box/chair again looking in fear at the approaching children]
TOM:        Phil, that’s fine. Let them come!
PHIL:    No! Not a load of kids. There’s too many of them. Jesus will never cope with the fuss and the noise and the mess – looks like some of them had chocolate spread for lunch – look at their faces!
TOM:        I really don’t think Jesus will mind.
PHIL:    [He spots his wife and shouts to her] Lizzy – don’t come this way! Go…[he points in the opposite direction, away from JESUS] Go that way! Take the children that way!
TOM:     [He looks up at PHIL] What are you doing? Let them come. They want to see Jesus [TOM looks over at JESUS who gets up and starts to walk towards TOM looking at the approaching children] And by the look of it, Jesus wants to see them!
PHIL:        [looks at Jesus] Oh no! [Phil rushes down from pulpit]
TOM:    They probably just want him to place his hands on them and bless them. That’s not a bad thing.
PHIL:    [Jumps up to be seen and shouts towards kids & Lizzy] Lizzy – what are you doing? Can’t you see that Jesus is too busy? You shouldn’t have brought them. Turn back! [He waves at them to go away]
JESUS:    [He is now standing between TOM and PHIL] What’s the matter Phil? What is all the shouting about? [PHIL looks at his feet not answering. JESUS turns to look for an answer from TOM]
TOM:        Phil’s kids are coming
JESUS:    [excited] Are they? Jack and Phoebe? That’s great – I’ve always wanted to meet them
PHIL:    The trouble is Jesus… they’re with their class from school. There’s about twenty of them! I was trying to stop them… bothering you, but [PHIL looks again at the children approaching] it looks like there’s no stopping them now. [PHIL shakes his head] I’m really sorry.
JESUS:    Don’t be sorry, Phil. I love children
PHIL:        But the mess and the noise and all that energy!
JESUS:    I love the mess. And the noise, and especially their energy. [JESUS speaks firmly to PHIL] Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
[JACK & PHOEBE run up to JESUS and stand in front of him smiling up at him]
JESUS:    So you are Jack and Phoebe! Your Dad said you were here. Nice to meet you. [JESUS shakes hands with Jack & Phoebe, then turns to Phil] You have great kids, Phil.
JACK & PHOEBE [wave at PHIL. Together:] Hi Dad!
JESUS:    Would you like me to bless them? [JACK & PHOEBE nod their heads yes to PHIL]
PHIL:    Yes, please. [JESUS  kneels down to their level, puts his hands on their heads, shuts his eyes and prays quietly for them]
[TOM and PHIL wander away from JESUS]
TOM:         [to PHIL] So what do you think now?
PHIL:        It seems I was a bit wrong. Jesus does love children after all.
JESUS:    [JESUS gets up and looks at the children] Come on kids! [He points offstage]  I’ll race you to that tree! [Laughing and smiling JESUS sets off with the children running after him and they exit]
TOM:        Yes, I think he does.
PHIL:         [Like a big kid] Come on, Tom. I’ll race you to that tree!
TOM:        Right, you’re on!
[TOM & PHIL exit running]
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© Copyright Pam Norman 2010, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.
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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.