Summary: A conversation between Abraham and God, over His plans, and the covenant He wants to make.
Style: Dramatic, with light touches. Duration: 15min.
Scripture: Genesis 15: 1-12, 17-18
Actors: 1M, 1VO
Abram - onstage.
God - voice only
God: Wake up, Abram. We have to talk.
Abram: Huh? Who is this? Sarai? O wait a minute now. I know who it is.
God: Of course. And listen, we haven't had a conversation for two whole chapters now. I guess I got lonesome. Really, there is no one else on earth that I get to talk with. Not like this, anyway.
Abram: Well, thanks. I'm honored. And don't worry about waking me from a deep sleep. Really. It's OK.
God: No problem. Day or night. They're much the same to me. I never sleep. Listen, I want to get back to that promise I made to you a while ago. Do you remember?
Abram: Of course I remember. It's all I've been thinking about. But it was all a bit vague, don't you think?
God: Not in my mind it wasn't. Let me remind you of what I said. "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
Abram: Yes, I remember. And honestly, I am truly flattered. I'm a pretty modest guy, you know, God. I've done pretty well for myself, I'll admit. I've built up a fairly sizeable herd of cattle, sheep and goats. Back in Ur, where I grew up, they said I should have become the mayor. So I've gotten used to be being a bit important. But this, God, this sounds big.
God: Big, Abe. Big Big. I want you to bring the world back to me, in a way. You remember Adam, do you Abe?
Abram: He was a bit before my time, God. I mean I'm only ninety-nine. Adam, well, he must have been born, what? When? Gee, I wish someone would invent a reliable calendar one of these days.
God: The years are not important. It was who Adam was that matters. Adam was my first born. My pride and joy. My breath. A thing of beauty. And Eve, now that was real beauty! Gosh, I was proud of those two. They were like my own children. But you know how it is with raising kids.
Abram: Actually, I don’t.
God: Sorry, I forgot. You and Sarai don’t have any. But we’ll get to that in a while. What I mean to say is that you raise your children the best you can. You give them life. You give them guidance. You put everything into getting them off to a good start and then you hope and pray it will turn out right. But things started to fall apart after a while.
Abram: What do you mean?
God: What I mean is, Adam and Eve went too far. They started to think they were the parent. Actually, they thought they were gods.
Abram: Not to be disrespectful, your holiness, but you did make them in your own image, didn't you? You gave them minds to think with. You gave them the will to make decisions for themselves, the courage to try things out. It's no wonder they thought they were gods. All children rebel against their parents.
God: I guess I did set myself up for disappointment. Anyway, it's been downhill ever since. First they let the weeds grow in the garden, then Cain killed Abel. And then all of their descendents started to run around like nobody was in control.
Abram: I understand you got really mad, though. You tried that flood thing with Noah, didn't you?
God: It was a washout.
Abram: But we got rainbows out of the arrangement. That was a nice touch.
God: Thank you for noticing. But do you think when people see a rainbow that they remember who gave it to them? Do they know what it means?
Abram: I do, God. I remember.
God: Thank you, Abram. The thing is, it seems no matter what I try, nobody gets the point. They are still up to their old tricks. Lying and cheating and abusing each other. I tell you, my old friend, they are so far from what I hoped they'd be that I just hold my head and shake it sometimes.
Abram: We should not pretend to be something we are not. Is that it?
God: People are not God, Abram. People are people. Wise and beautiful and all, but they are not divine.
Abram: But we have a little of you in each of us. Some of your breath, don't forget.
God: Yes, and that is how I can talk with you. And you with me. You are all my children. And I love you all. But honestly, it is just such a challenge trying to raise you.
Abram: OK. So now what? We've moved the whole family and livestock to Canaan. And along the way, as a sign of my loyalty, I have built altars to you, at least three times.
God: For which I am grateful. It means at least you remember who I am. And you have remembered the promise I made. So now we can start. I’m going to make you a great nation, a blessing to the world.
Abram: There is only one little problem, your holiness.
God: Go ahead.
Abram: I have no children. I am ninety-nine. My dear long-suffering wife is almost the same age. If I may venture to say so, the biological clock has gone to its last tick. There is no juice left.
God: Ha! At least there is one man alive who doesn't think he is God. No, Abram. That is not a problem. My problem now is, do you believe me? Do you trust me to fulfill my promise? Do you trust the covenant?
Abram: I guess so. But a little incentive would sure help.
God: Come on outside, my friend. Now, look at the stars. Good. Now start counting.
God: Yes. Abram, those are your children. Our children.
Abram: OK. I'll go along with that. But that is a tall order for a man of my age.
God: Ha! Who do you think you are dealing with? You do your part, I'll do mine. But let's seal the deal. Bond the covenant.
Abram: I suppose you want me to sacrifice a bunch of animals.
God: Now you’re getting the idea.
Abram: Can't I just build another altar?
God: No, you can't just build another altar. The sacrifices are the sign of the covenant.
Abram: Alright. I'll do it. But God, tell me. Why is this so important to you? I mean, once we get used to the idea, Sarai and I will be very happy to have children. But what is in it for you? What do you want?
God: You are a faithful man, Abram. The only one I know. And Sarai, she is made for the job. I need people who will follow my ways, who will listen to me, as you have today. I need people who will remind others of the vision I had when I started the world, when I breathed on the waters, and gave beauty to the flowers and song to the birds. I need people who will show respect for the creation, and remember its Creator. I need people who will show others how to live with respect for one another, who will honor the One who gave them their life in the first place. If I can find but one faithful person who will bring my creation back to me, then I will be happy.
Abram: Do you think people will remember this?
God: That partly depends on you, Abe.
Abram: But what if I fail? What if the people forget you? What if, in spite of everything I say and do they still fail to show care for one another? What if they abuse your Creation? What if they forget the love you have shown to us?
God: What if? What if? Abe, you sound like you doubt me.
Abram: I don’t doubt you, God. It’s more like I doubt myself.
God: Let’s try it for a while, Abe. You and me and Sarai. Let’s see what happens.
Abram: But what if…? What if, after a long time, the people of the world need another reminder?
God: If all else fails, I will come again. And again. I will find others to be my messengers.
Abram: You’ll come yourself? Come on, God, how can you do that?
God: I’m God, Abe. Did you forget? No, if the people wander away from the covenant I have with the world, I will walk among them. Talk to them. Teach them. Just like I have taught you. My covenant is for ever. It is for all my creatures. For all of creation. I just might have to remind them from time to time.
Abram: It means that much to you!?
God: I love the things I have created. I want them to know how much.
Abram: Alright, God. I’ll get the animals. You start the fire.
(c) Copyright Jim Hatherly.