Present the reading – Judging unfairly
Use this as preparation for the reading and to set the scene.
You will need: Judge (behind a desk with a gavel or something to represent a gavel, with wig if available), defendant with a bag of money
Judge [in a booming voice] : To sum up, the defendant stands accused of artificially boosting the price of wheat, selling it with dust and straw sweepings added in, and using loaded scales to get more money for less.
He stands accused of having done this in the full knowledge of the poverty of his customers, with the intention of pushing them into debt so that he can force them into slavery.
I have heard from eight witnesses who can testify to this, and evidence has been shown of the scales in question, and of the quality of wheat sold which has been added to by up to 50% chaff. Has the defendant any further information to add in his defence?
Defendant: Yes your honour.
Judge: You may proceed.
Defendant: May I have permission to approach the bench?
Judge: Yes, you may come up.
[Defendant approaches the judge and pretends to whisper in his/her ear]
Judge [in a quieter voice]: How much? … Hmmm…. Double that, and it will go well for you. …
[Defendant hands over bag of money to the judge]
Judge: You may resume your seat.
[Defendant returns to his/her seat]
Judge [in a booming voice again]: The verdict is not guilty. The defendant is acquitted. Court is adjourned. [Bangs gavel; rubs hands together in glee.]
(NB This drama was written by a subscriber and was submitted and published online on 19 October 2021.)
Present the reading using three readers, standing left, centre and right at the front of the worship space.
Reader 1 speaks from a lectern with a large Bible on it.
Reader 2 stands beside a free-standing but portable cross, from the opposite side.
Reader 3 is in the middle and begins the presentation by reading verses 12 and 13.
Reader 1 picks up the Bible and carries it to the Communion table, places it on the table, then reads verses 14 and 15.
Reader 2 picks up the cross, carries it to and places it on the table, then reads verse 16. All three readers gather in front of and facing the table, then kneel or bow heads (as if approaching the throne of grace). After a pause, they all quietly return to their seats.
Accompany the Gospel reading with the YouTube video (sound on mute). The reader will need to rehearse this to get the timing right. Or you could use the video ‘as is’ with sound (and music).
If you cannot show the video, you could prepare a mime.
You will need: a narrator, Jesus, some disciples, a rich man and his friends.
The narrator needs to convey the different voices and pause as necessary for the mimed action to take place. ‘Staging’ can be very simple, e.g. Jesus and his disciples entering from one side, the rich man and his friend from the other. After verse 22, the rich man and friends leave the same way they came, while Jesus remains ‘centre stage’. Towards the end, during or after verse 28, Jesus and the disciples start to walk on, leaving on the opposite side to where they entered.