Easter Celebration

by Melanie Gordon


Using a "split scene" technique, four social liberties that Americans have are contrasted with the lack of freedoms in some other nations, specifically: freedom of open corporate worship, freedom to own and possess a Bible, freedom of corporate prayer.


Side A
Ally:  Social butterfly.  Church for him/her, is an occasion to chat.
Blake:  Brainy sort, has no need of socializing…or Sunday school.  
Brielle:  Comes every week and snores through Sunday school.
Ashlyn:  Attentive, eager and spiritually growing. 
Mr. Landrum: Sunday school teacher
Side B
Akila   1:  Leader of study.  Cautious, but passionate about her salvation.  Encourager.
Oma    2:  New believer.  Still in awe of God’s grace
Nadira 3:  Bible owner.  The only one fortunate enough to have a Bible.
Layla   4:  Youngest of the group.  Curious, bold.


(Scenes: Side A - Typical Sunday school class on Easter Sunday in America. Side B:  The way an Arabic group in a middle eastern country meet to celebrate Easter.)
Side A
(Teacher is present getting material ready for lesson. Ally & Brielle enter together chatting.  Teacher says good morning and offers them juice and donuts.  They walk over to the refreshments and talk non-stop. Blake walks in courteously says hello to teacher and takes seat in front row. Ashlyn bolts in the door and walks straight up to the teacher with a list in hand of questions about last weeks lesson. )
Ally:  “So, anyway, I told her she should have known not to think he was actually like going to ask her to that party.  I mean, I told her I had seen him talking with like ten different girls in the hallway the whole week before!”
Brielle:  “Why did she think he was going to ask her anyway?”
Ally:   “What?  Haven’t you been listening to a word I’ve said?!  Beeeeecaaaause, he asked her to the prom and so she figured that that meant that they were automatically dating or something. Which is understandable, I mean, who would ask someone to the prom they wouldn’t be willing to date, right?”
Brielle:  “I would.  Just so I could go.  I mean, if I didn’t haven’t any other options.  I sure wouldn’t go alone.  That would be way to humiliating.  You know, I heard about a girl who did that last year.  She was so humiliated she had to change schools!  Or maybe she just moved.  But anyway, could you just imagine…”
[Conversation continues but fades to background noise as next person enters.]
Blake: [Virtually marches into room.]  “Good morning, Mr. Landrum.  I hope you are having a pleasant Easter weekend.  I look forward to our lesson this morning.”  [Turns to take seat before teacher has a chance to respond.]
Ashlyn:  [As Blake is taking a seat].  “Good morning Mr. Landrum!  I am so excited to be here!  Here is my list of questions from last week.  I took your suggestion about writing them all down so I wouldn’t forget them and so I wouldn’t take up too much class time and that you would be able to give me a more complete and thorough answer.  So, um, here it is.”
Teacher:  [chuckling] “Well thank you, Ashlyn.  I just wish all the kids were excited about learning the Word of God like you are.  I’ll do my best to get these, uh, 25 questions answered.”
Ashlyn:  “Thank you so much, Mr. Landrum.”  And [takes a seat and pulls out notepad ready to take notes.]
Teacher: “ Now, if we could all have a seat and get started… “
(Everyone sits:  scene freezes.)
Scene B
(Akila is pacing back and forth from “window” to “window” peering through a drawn curtain. Oma & Nadira enter from rear of sanctuary walking briskly whispering to one another, periodically looking behind them as if concerned about being followed.  They arrive at “door” of Akila. Akila sees them approach house and stands at the door awaiting the “password”.)
Oma: “We are always protected though only our heart is guarded.”
(Akila opens door and both girls step inside quickly.)
Oma: “Thank you, Akila, for risking your home for our meeting.  I am so grateful for this chance to study together.  I have much to learn and many questions to ask.”
Akila: “It is us that are grateful for you, Oma.  There is nothing like the passion of a new believer to fuel our own spiritual lives.  Please, sit, sit. Layla and Zia have not yet arrived.”
Nadira:  “Zia will not be here.  I am afraid her father has become suspicious and her mother is frightened for her to meet with us anymore.  I am trying to connect her with another group to meet with.  She is very upset and asks that we pray for her and continue to pray for her family.”
(As they are speaking Layla enters from the side of the sanctuary and briskly approaches house as the other did.)
Layla:   “We are always protected though only our heart is guarded.”
(Akila quickly goes to door to let her in. Layla greets the others, slightly short of breath.
Layla: “I had to double back twice.  I was sure there was someone following me.  Though now I feel silly, after three or four turns I prayed and felt it was safe for me to continue on here.”
[Everyone sits.]
Akila: “ We will open in prayer.  Let us remember Zia and her family.  And pray about whether it is time for us to relocate our meeting place once again.”  [they all go to their knees and bow their heads]
(Scene freezes.)
Teacher:  “….in Your powerful name we pray, Jesus, AMEN.
Scene A
Teacher: Today, as you know, is a special celebration for Christians everywhere.  Today, we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior.  The very reason we have assurance of our eternal destiny.   As we study today’s passage, try to let the story come alive to you.  Imagine being there, experiencing what the disciples and the women felt, heard, saw and experienced.”
(Ally has begun doodling, or writing notes, obviously not paying attention to the lesson. Blake is staring straight ahead.  Hearing but not really listening. Brielle is beginning to doze. Ashlyn is staking notes, actively listening.)
Teacher:  “Now, lets turn in our bibles to the book of John chapter 20.  Brielle, why don’t you read beginning in verse…”
[Brielle sits up suddenly, slightly dazed]… “Uh,  I’m sorry, I don’t have my Bible with me.”
Teacher:  “Oh.  Well.  Ally, how about you?” [Ashlyn shyly raises her hand].
Ally  “What?  Umm.  Were you talking to me?”
Teacher: (sighs.  Then turns to Ashlyn)  “Ashlyn, would you please beginning reading in verse 1?”
[Ashlyn eagerly sitting up in her chair begins to read]. “…Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb…”
(Scene freezes.)
Scene B
Akila:  “… We thank You once again for Your protection to allow us to meet together safely.  We thank You for being with us.  In Your precious name we pray, AMEN.” [they all resume sitting
Layla  “I cannot believe it is Easter.   This is my second Easter as a believer.   It makes me want to shout to everyone, ‘Don’t you see?!  How can you not believe?!’
Akila  “This is understandable, Layla.  But remember, we too were once unbelieving.   Thank God the Holy Spirit continued to draw us, as He did Oma.  Now, Nadira, [slight pause] do you have it?”
Nadira: (reaches inside her sleeve and pulls out a tatty looking but obviously cherished Bible.)  “Yes.” ( Then looking toward Oma)  “Oma, would you like to start the reading of the Bible tonight?”
Oma: (Pauses.  This is a tremendous moment for her as a new Christian.)  “Are you sure?”  (She takes the offered Bible.) “Where?  Where shall we begin?”
Nadira:  “Lets look at John’s story.”
Layla:  “Then Luke, then Matthew.”
Nadira:  “What about the Old Testament prophesies?”
Akila:  “All right, everyone, we will read them all.  As much as God permits.  Let us start in John.”
(Scene freezes.)
Scene A
Teacher:  “As we close today’s lesson, I hope you have received a new perspective of the resurrection story that you didn’t have before.  I think sometimes we become so used to the story, we stop hearing it.  Today, over 2000 years later, it is very hard for us to imagine the sights and smells and sounds of that day.  In this country, we are far removed from the type of lifestyles the apostles and Jesus lived.  It’s hard for us to realize the hardships and dangers the apostles were getting ready to face.  But for now, they celebrated.  They celebrated their Master’s life.  As do we. Now, as we get ready to dismiss, does anyone have any prayer requests?”
Ashlyn:   “Please keep my family in your prayers.  My Mom dropped me off this morning, but I couldn’t get her to stay.  Just, keep praying for their salvation, and that they will see the change in me.”
Teacher:  “Absolutely.  Anyone else?  Any praises?”
Teacher:  “Okay, well, lets dismiss with prayer.”
(Ally, Blake & Brielle shift in their seats, yawn; begin putting away their stuff, etc.)
(Scene freezes.)
Scene B
Layla:  [reading from the Bible] “…Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father:  but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”  Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.”.   [There is a brief silence in the group, as if absorbing the story for the first time].
Akila:  “This, these very words are why we do this.  Why we meet secretly, yet openly enough to invite others.  The reason we secretly witness to others.  The reason we love the way we do.  Tonight and every night, His love for us never changes.  And His resurrection power never leaves us.  We are His forever, no matter what happens to us in this lifetime.”
Nadira:  “Akila, it is after 2:00 in the morning.  We must dismiss or your light may cause unwanted attention.”
Akila:  “You are right, Nadira.  I will send word of the new meeting place this week.  The same rules apply.  The Holy Spirit tells me we are not safe here anymore.  Zia’s father has become suspicious and we have met here too many times already.”
Layla: “I believe God will provide a place.”
Akila: “Yes.  He will.  Oma, would you like to pray as we go our separate ways?”
Oma: “Yes, yes I would.”  [All on their knees, holding hands.]  “Abba Father, Your love has penetrated this place tonight.  You have been with us, teaching us.  Thank you for Akila, and for her willingness to place her and her family at risk by letting us meet here.  Thank you for Your Word, so precious and powerful.  Thank You for dying for us.  For me.  Thank You for making a way that we can speak with You and thank You for hearing our prayers.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”
(All begin to stand up, just as they turn toward the door to walk to it, a loud pounding on the door is heard.)
(Scene freezes.)
Copyright Melanie Gordon, all rights reserved.
This script may be used free of charge, provided no charge is made for the performance. In return for free use, the author would like to be told of any performance. She may be contacted at melgor@bellsouth.net