The roof's coming in - by James Archer

 

Cast: Narrator; Friend; House-owner; Jesus; Cripple; crowd.  Only the narrator appears on stage, with the crowd all around – the others are all voices which emerge over the hubbub.  Everything is said by the Narrator except the lines highlighted for other people.

 

This is a dramatised version of the story of Mark 2:1-12.  The narrator needs to be flexible and gets members of the congregation involved, with a few people pre-planted with specific things to say loudly at particular points.

 

The narrator asks people to gather around the altar rail...….

 

Narrator     ......like the crowd gathering around a house near the Sea of Galilee to see what Jesus of Nazareth is up to inside.                   There have been amazing stories of Jesus making sick people well in extraordinary ways – he’s obviously got some                   sort of hotline to God like the prophets in days of old.  It’s a real scramble as people bring their sick friends and                       relatives – after all, you had to pay to see a doctor, and even when you did he probably just told you to go home                     and rest until you felt better – so no-one bothered unless they were really desperate.  And here they all were, pushing,                 shoving and hoping for a miracle.  Jesus starts to speak, and eventually the crowds get quieter as they try to hear                       what he’s saying.  It sounds like a story about the kingdom of heaven.

                And suddenly – CRACK!  The roof’s coming in! Screams, panic, dust everywhere.  Jesus stands back to avoid the                     dust as a boot breaks through the plaster, the hole gets bigger, and then a face appears.

Friend        (to Jesus)  Sorry to interrupt, mate, but it was the only way in.  Our friend needs your help.

Host          (very loud and cross) OI!!! You there!  Get off my roof!  My brand new roof! You idiot!  You’ll kill yourselves and us!                 I’ll sue you for damages!

Friend        Calm down, mate.  I’m a builder – I know what I’m doing.  I’ll fix your roof tomorrow.  But only Jesus can fix our                       friend here.

Narrator    After a little while, the hole is big enough, and they let this poor cripple down on a stretcher, with one rope on each                  corner.  The crowd looks on in disgust, but Jesus feels sorry for him.  Then he looks up, and there’s four faces looking                  down, suddenly realising that they’ve done all they can.  And then one of them throws the rope down, and the others                all follow, grinning – there’s no way their friend is coming out the way he went in.  Everyone held their breath – what                would happen next?

               When Jesus saw their faith, he looked down at the cripple. 

Jesus         Your sins are forgiven.

Narrator    The crowd stirred uneasily.  Who did he think he was?  Everyone knew that God was the only one who could forgive                sins.  But no-one dared to say what they thought.  They just looked at each other and hoped someone else would.                    Jesus knew what they were thinking – it wasn’t difficult to guess. 

Jesus        Would you have felt more comfortable if I’d said to him, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk out.”? 

Narrator   Silence.  You could have heard a pin drop. 

Jesus        Well, so that you may know that I have the authority to forgive sins …… 

Narrator   He stretched out his arm towards the cripple. 

Jesus        Get up, pick up your stretcher, and walk out.

Narrator   The cripple looked up at the outstretched arm.  Then he looked into Jesus’s eyes.  Jesus stared back and nodded                        slowly.  The cripple inched himself onto his side so that he had one hand free, and reached out and grabbed Jesus.                  He dragged his feet up under him, and pulled himself up unsteadily, gasping for breath, and straightened himself.                      Suddenly, a huge smile lit up his face. 

Cripple     Thank you.  Thank you, thank you thank you.

Narrator    He turned and look up at his friends, still up in the roof, and gave them a big thumbs up. 

Cripple     Thank you.

Narrator    He looked down, saw his stretcher, and remembered what Jesus had said.  He stooped, picked up his stretcher and                  headed for the door.  The crowd parted silently, afraid to touch him as he went.  The air felt cold and no-one wanted                to stay. 

Friend       Praise God! Praise God!

Narrator    The voice came from above, and the spell of fear was broken.  “Praise God,” they all said, “Praise God.” 

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