Style: Lighthearted. Duration: 5-7 min.
Scripture: Matthew 7: 1-5
Characters: 3 (all Characters could be either Male or Female.)
Roberta Sanders: Hello, I'm Roberta Sanders. Welcome back to another Sunday morning in church. I'm here at the Lakeview Community Church with Blake Cregg to give you a minute by minute play by play of this service.
Blake Cregg: Well, Roberta, the congregation is beginning to file in...It seems that most of the regular attendees are here and there are a few visitors...now in the past this congregation has NOT been very welcoming, we'll see if they can break that trend today.
Roberta Sanders: Well, it doesn't appear as if they are even going to try, everyone is now getting ready for the run into the sanctuary to get to their favorite seat.
Blake Cregg: Coming up the right aisle now are the Smiths...whoa, it looks like they will retain their position in the front seat for yet another Sunday.
Roberta Sanders: Don't be too sure about that! On the left aisle the Petersons are rapidly advancing and look determined to take the front seats...Smiths see Petersons...they pick up the pace...both break into a run...I can't believe it! Petersons have taken the front! The first time in three years that the Smiths have lost it and to the most unlikely...Petersons! This is incredible!
Blake Cregg: Yes, it is Roberta. I can see the visitors in the back. By the looks on their faces they have never seen a play quite like this! Some of them seem to be making a fast exit of their own.
Roberta Sanders: Back here in sanctuary everyone has been seated. Song leader North is starting "Amazing Grace" and when we reach the part about saving a wretch we will be getting some looks toward the left side of the sanctuary where all the rebellious teenagers sit...wait for it...here come those looks now.
Blake Cregg: And a fearsome lot of looks they are... Don't look now, but the Pastor seems ready to take the pulpit. Today's sermon is part of the series "Resolving to Break Bad Habits", the title, "Judge Not Lest You Be Judged." What a great message for the new year, Roberta. I can think of a few here who could benefit from this sermon.
Audience Member: (Walking up. Obviously disturbed. Taps Roberta on the shoulder.) Hey! I'd just like to...
Roberta Sanders: (Roberta turns to Audience Member and frowns.) Sit down and be quiet! Can't you see we're on the air? Goodness. Some people's kids never learn. (Roberta turns back to the action. Audience Member shrugs and then walks reluctantly from the stage. Roberta begins to speak again.) Ahem. This message about judging comes at a time when the congregational record for judging is at an all-time high. Oh, and this just in, the Hudsons have just now slipped into the back pew. Mrs Peterson in the front seat has turned and given a self-righteous look to Mrs Hudson.
Blake Cregg: Mr Hudson doesn't look very enthusiastic to be here.
Roberta Sanders: He's not; Mrs Hudson manages to drag him to service about twice a month for usually half the message.
(Audience Member returns, pacing along the side of the stage. Obviously working up the nerve to speak again. Scratching head, thinking, studying the Bible and generally working up a head of steam that blows out on their next line.)
Blake Cregg: Do you know why Mr Hudson has a lump on his head?
Roberta Sanders: Well Blake. It is common knowledge that his wife is a Bible thumper.
Blake Cregg: Oh, I see, that would definitely explain it. Now we come to the closing and Mrs Phillips gets ready to wake her husband up for the closing song. ...out comes the elbow...she pulls it back...here it comes...the jab and Mr Phillips is awake and standing! But, today he stands too soon...the Pastor is not quite finished. Mr Phillips sinks back down somewhat embarrassed. Perhaps his timing will be better next week.
Audience Member: (Charging forward.) Wait just a minute! I'd like to say something! You two...
Blake Cregg: (Interrupting.) It seems like Mr Phillips isn't the only one with a bit of a timing problem. Pardon me. (To the Audience Member.) Go on, get out of here! (After finally persuading the Audience Member to beat it, Blake straightens and gives a fake smile. Awkward pause. Blake speaks through clenched teeth.) Take it away Roberta...please...
Roberta Sanders: (A little flustered but professional.) Mr Williams is now leading his family out while the congregation sings the last song. It's a known fact that Mrs Williams makes a great dinner on Sunday and Mr Williams is more concerned about not letting it burn until the message is over.
Blake Cregg: (Nervously eyeing the Audience Member who has returned and is loitering nearby.) The closing prayer has been said and now the congregation is quickly filing out. They know that the last one in the Sanctuary will be asked to gather the hymnals. Everyone seems quite unwilling to do that.
Roberta Sanders: Well, that wraps up another Sunday. I hope you enjoyed the New Years Day message "Judge Not Lest You be Judged" from the series "Resolving to Break Bad Habits." Tune in next week for another exciting play by play on GCF Television, channel 45.
(They are obviously relieved to be done their task. They pause for a drink and then gather up their papers preparing to leave.)
Audience Member: (Walking up with arms crossed.) FINALLY. Now it is my turn to talk.
Roberta & Greg together: Not you again!
Audience Member: Listen! Don't you realize that you are doing the exact same thing you are criticizing others for doing?
Roberta Sanders: What do you mean?
Audience Member: Jesus said; take the plank out of your own eye before you pluck the splinter out of another's eye.
Blake Cregg: Well, we were just sharing out of concern. How else are people going to know better if we don't tell them the truth?
Audience Member: That is exactly what I've been trying to tell you! If you've got a problem with somebody, the Bible says you are supposed to take them aside to discuss it PRIVATELY. NOT here in front of everybody!
Roberta Sanders: (Shocked.) Really? Whatever do you mean?
Audience Member: (Holds up Bible.) Why don't we go somewhere private and I'll show you exactly what I mean.
(Walk offstage in heated discussion.)