Style: Dramatic. Duration: 7-10min
Actors: 1M, +V
Production note: Costumes are white shirts with bold black lettering or black shirts with white letters. Black will probably be more dramatic. The Labels could be affixed with Velcro or tacky glue. They should be able to easily remove the labels and affix them to Jesus.
The “labels” on the shirts are what the characters are portraying, such as; addict, abuser, abused, bully, et cetera. I have included some here but the list, sadly, is endless. This can be a very moving skit when the actors are facing the same dilemmas, and a certain amount of ad-libbing is not only to be expected, but also applauded, as this can be a catalyst for healing for themselves and the audience.
The Jesus character is center stage. Each actor says their lines as they walk towards him. When they get to him, they should be ready to remove their label and place it on him. The Jesus character winces, as the labels are places on his robe to signify the pain he endured for our sins. Actors can enter in any order.
The characters exit with their backs or sides to the audience because under their label is the word FORGIVEN
When the last character is walking off the stage the Jesus character steps slowly, deliberately forward and begins his speech. When he finishes his speech, his robe falls and he lifts his hands in an invitational gesture.
The other players come back to him and reveal their shirts and the word FORGIVEN.
(Jesus is center stage)
Jesus: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.
Bully: Yeah right, you want me to come to you. You say you want me, but no one really wants me. I try to be nice but I can’t let anyone disrespect me. Some punk gets in my face and I got to represent, ya know? Besides, people say they love you, but when you mess up, they just throw you out like yesterdays garbage. Well, they can’t hurt me if I hurt them first! And I won’t let you hurt me either. (Begins to soften, wipe away tears maybe) Oh God, I don’t really want to hurt anyone, I just don’t want to be hurt anymore. Do you really care, or will you hurt me too?
Molested: Get away with you and I’ll recover my life? You have to be kidding me. How could I trust you? Did you protect me when he came into my room night after night after night? How can I trust you now? And why would you want me anyway? Besides, I’ve been angry with you for years, why would you want me? You couldn’t really want me now, could you?
Worthless: I’ve heard about you. You’re the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I’m tired and worn out; why would you want to walk with me? You have the whole world to think about, why would you care about me? I’m pretty insignificant compared to a world leader, a pastor, actor, or something. What could I offer you when I’m a nobody? I’m sorry, I shouldn’t even be talking to you I guess. (Starts to leave then turns back a little) But could you love me? Just a little? (Gives Jesus their label)
Liar: I’ll come to you. But what story do you want? I have to tell stories you know, because the truth just isn’t good enough. And I may not know a lot about religion and stuff, but lying is one of the top ten big no nos. So, I’d like to come to you, but I have to stop lying first and make amends. Or, could you really accept me?
Popular: I’m tired. I’m so worn out from playing this “perfect” person who doesn’t really exist. But, it’s worth it to be popular and have everyone like you, right? Still, I would like a little rest. I would like to come to you but what would everyone think? What would they say? Lord, help me please. I don’t know what to do.
Rejected: I’d love to come to you, but you wouldn’t want me. Especially after you got to know me. No one wants me. My teachers don’t even like me. I don’t have any friends. Everyone has an opinion of me, and my parent’s don’t even care. My mom would rather hang out with her friends (boyfriends) than me, and my dad doesn’t even call. So why would you want me when no one else does?
Ugly: Come to you? Don’t you see me? I’m fat, I’m ugly. How can I serve you when I can’t even control what I eat? I’m not worthy to come to you. I want to, but I just can’t do it. I’ve tried and tried. Oh God, I could use some peace.
Addicted: You don’t want ME to come to you. I have a problem. Life hurts so badly sometimes. I just want it to quit hurting so I take drugs (or drink, overeat, depending on your audience) I can’t come to you till I clean up. I hope I do before I die. Oh Jesus, this is all too hard, can’t you help me please?
Murderer: Why would you give me rest? I murdered the only innocent thing in my life. And I knew, I knew it was more than a “choice”, than a “mass of cells”. I knew that it was really a baby but I was afraid. Afraid of what my mom would do, what the kids at school would say, what my boyfriend would think. I knew, and I did it anyway. How could you forgive me? Why would you when I can’t forgive myself?
Promiscuous: You say you want me, but as soon as I give my self to you, you’ll turn on me just like all the rest. I just want someone to love me. Instead, they use me then talk about me. Why won’t anyone just love me, really love me? And you, how could you love me when I’m so dirty and used up?
Abused: (This will usually be the last label because this is the most prevalent label we give ourselves.) Come to you? How do you expect me to come to you? Where were you when I was being beaten? Were you watching when they yelled at me? Called me stupid, worthless, useless? What about when I was being ignored? How can I trust you now? How can I come to you? Oh God, I can’t take this anymore.
(Jesus begins to speak. He will be center stage and have all the labels affixed to him somehow. He speaks his lines moving slowly forward and the labels are either falling off or at the end of his lines he rips off the outer gown with the labels. )
Jesus: I took your suffering on myself and felt your pain. I was wounded for the wrong things you did. I was crushed for the evil things you did. The punishment, which made you well, was given to me. And you were healed because of my wounds.
It is finished.
© Copyright Andora Henson, all rights reserved