Summary: This puppet sketch is about Paul's missionary journeys around the Mediterranean. It is based on a television programme called "Wish You Were Here?" that was regularly on TV in England in the 1970s.
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 10min.
Scripture: Based on Acts chapters 9-28 and the verse Philippians 3 v 8 ( paraphrased as "knowing Jesus is the very best treasure")
Actors: 8+ puppets.
Notes: We have a Kids Club at our chapel on Friday nights....like Sunday School on a Friday....the children range from 3 to 18 years old. My group is 9 to 13 years old. At the end of the school year (July) the children put on an evening of songs and sketches to show their parents what they have been learning throughout the year. My group decided to do their sketch with puppets.
We started the sketch with the theme music from the programme, which is distinctive. I think the sketch would also work even if you had never heard of the TV programme.
We had on stage two trestle tables turned on their sides, with a picture of a
boat painted on paper and stuck one on each table.....so, as the audience
looked at the stage there was a grey cruiser on the left and a wooden pirate
ship, with jolly roger flag, on the right. The puppet "playing" the part of
Judith Chalmers was in the cruiser with Paul and his friends (Barnabus, Luke, Silas), and the pirate puppets (travelling the Med looking for the "very best treasure") were in the wooden boat, but did not appear until first mentioned in the sketch.
At the end of the sketch the pirates sang the Landlubbers Song from the
Scripture Union holiday club programme which was also called Landlubbers, and they changed their Jolly Roger for a white flag with a Christian cross on it.
We had six children behind each boat (with a puppet each, including a parrot).
The puppets were all from the same pattern, like a Sesame Street style with
wide mouth, but all different bright colours and different T-shirts, and the
pirate captain had a pirate hat on.
We recorded the children reading the script beforehand so that they only had to concentrate on the puppets on the day. I strongly recommend this method.
The last line of the sketch mentions "the beautiful Coquet Valley in
Northumberland", in England....that is where our chapel is, and where we live (and it is beautiful!). You could change this to your own area.
Hello and welcome to our holiday programme, “Wish You Were Here”. I'm Judith Charmers and this week we're in the Mediterranean on a cruise aboard the liner, The Queen Mary.
Later we'll be exploring the ship and comparing the luxury and budget cabins. But first let me introduce you to our tour guide who has spent twenty years travelling on and around the Mediterranean Sea with a special purpose in mind.
Paul, thank you for joining us on board!
Thank you for inviting me. Please let me introduce you to some of my friends.....this is Barnabas, Luke, and Silas, and of course there's Timothy, Titus and John Mark as well, in their hammocks down below deck.
Ahoy! M'hearties! That there Paul's an old sea dog, but they look a right motley crew – mind, they're on board a fine ship, so me thinks we'll keep an eye on this 'ere liner; there might be some treasure on board!! Ya ha!
Now Paul, please tell our viewers why you have spent so much time travelling these waters.
I think you've heard how Jesus spoke to me when I was blinded by the light on the road to Damascus. I realised then that I was wrong, I shouldn't be persecuting the Christians, I should follow Jesus myself! So that's what I did, I became a believer, and knew that I must travel far and wide spreading the good news about Jesus Christ!
That's amazing! So where did you go?
Where didn't we go? We travelled throughout Israel, Syria, Turkey, Greece, the islands of Crete, Cyprus and Malta, and even to Italy.
Ya ha! Shiver m'timbers! He's well travelled...must have a pretty penny in his pocket! What does he do for a living, I wonder?
And how did you pay for your travels Paul? Did you work?
Oh yes! I made tents for a living. Wherever we stopped I made tents and sold them to the locals.
Oh! He doesn't sound so rich now, does he? Never mind, I'm sure there must be some booty on board to steal! Ya Ha!
And did you have adventures on your travels around the Med?
Adventures? I should say so. Life is one big adventure when you choose to follow Jesus -- you never know where he might lead you! Silas you tell them!
We got into a few scrapes! There were riots and arrests, we were imprisoned a few times. Once we were in prison and were happily singing at midnight when there was an earthquake and all our chains fell off! The jailor was in a terrible panic but we were able to reassure him that none of the prisoners had escaped. He couldn't understand why we hadn't run off, and why we were so happy, so we told him the good news about Jesus, and he became a believer himself, and all his family too! It was great!
And you had no problems at sea? I've heard there are pirates in these waters. We don't want our viewers to be worried about pirates when they come on their cruise here!
Avast ye, they'd better be worried! Because we're searching for the best treasure there is, and nothing's gonna get in our way! Ya ha!
No, we've had no problems with pirates, but we were shipwrecked. You want to tell them Luke?
We were prisoners on board the ship, under armed guard, and were being taken from Jerusalem to Rome for trial. We had stopped at Crete, and were moving from one harbour to another, when a terrible wind called the Euroclydon, blew us out to sea. We drifted 600 miles at the mercy of the wind and waves, until finally the ship broke up on a sandbank off Malta. The ship was lost, but everyone on board were saved! God was with us all the way!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! All were saved?! I thought they'd all be sharkbait! Who is this God who protects his people? Ya ha!
What else happened to you?
PAUL We got in a lot of trouble with the silversmiths in Ephesus who made small statues of the goddess. Nobody wanted to buy them after they'd become Christians! And I got bitten by a snake on Malta, but miraculously survived, and once I had to escape down a city wall in a basket.....all sorts of bother really! But it was all worth it!
Why was that?
Because all the time we were following Jesus and doing God's work. The Holy Spirit was with us, and we spent our time teaching in the young churches, praying for the sick, and telling people the good news about Jesus and encouraging them to follow him too!
Barnabas, tell us, what kinds of things did you teach them?
We taught them that God wanted them to shine like lights among the people in this world. We taught them to live as one body, each with their own talents and jobs to do for God, to live in unity and not to argue or complain or grumble.
And we taught them that God loves them unconditionally, just as they are. We taught them not to worry but to pray about all things, and to rejoice always. And we taught them that salvation is by faith alone, not by doing good deeds, but that their faith should lead to action.
That's right, and we taught them about the fruits of the spirit and the gifts of the spirit, and we taught them to pray always for those in authority.
And Paul, what was the most important thing that you taught as you travelled around the Mediterranean?
The most important thing? We told them that the most wonderful thing, the best thing of all, was knowing Jesus, and that, in comparison, everything else is worthless!
Ya ha! Everything else is worthless? Does he mean to say that following Jesus is the very best treasure? Better than any doubloons or pieces of eight? Savvy?
Aye cap'n! I do savvy! I think that is what he means, that Jesus is the very best treasure, and we should follow him!!
PIRATE 3 What are we waiting for, then? Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! Let's not waste our time looking for other treasure, let's follow this Jesus!
Thank you Paul, and your friends too! I'm afraid that's all we have time for this week, but please join us again next week when we will be looking at holiday options in the beautiful Coquet valley in Northumberland! Goodbye!!
© Lyd Heywood. All rights reserved.