Summary: How is this family's work to be done, when everyone has an excuse not to get involved? Keywords: Body of Christ, service, Kingdom, talents, gifts, ministries, work, family.
Style : Drama. Duration: 8min
Actors: 1N, 3M, 3F, 1C (optional)
Scriptures: 1 Cor. 12
Narrator, Father, Mother, Angela, Carol, Norman, Uncle Cyril
(The family - excepting Uncle Cyril, who’s asleep in a chair DSL - all stand facing upstage, and as each is introduced by the narrator, turn to face downstage, and mime according to description. Harry of course, is a doll - unless you have a very docile baby available.)
Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a family. There was Father Kingdom, who loved all his family, even though they were different. There was his wife. She was very busy, looking after all the Kingdoms, and even though her job was the most important in the house, she still felt she was very ordinary…. a nobody. The Father loved her. The eldest child was Angela. She was multi-talented. She could sing beautifully (tape of opera singer). She could play many sorts of instruments (tape of orchestra). All at the same time. She made all her own clothes. In short, she was clever. The Father loved her. He was proud of her.
The second child was Norman. He was a lazy, shiftless good-for-nothing. In fact, he was a bit intellectually challenged. He hated Angela, because she was clever and he was…not. Deep down, he imagined that the Father couldn’t possibly love him as much as Angela, because, after all, he wasn’t much use, was he? No. The Father loved him, but it made him sad to see him wasting his life, when he knew Norman was really quite artistic.
The third child was Carol. She was always on the go. She despised Norman, who never kept his room tidy, and always looked a mess. She had boundless energy and was always out hiking, jogging, horse-riding or weight-lifting. In fact, when she was in, everyone wished she was out, because she wouldn’t keep still. The Father loved her, but regretted that she was always too busy to talk to him.
The youngest child was Harry. He couldn’t contribute much to the family, because he was only a baby, but everyone enjoyed him being there, and welcomed him into the family, except when he… became rather damp. Then nobody wanted to know - he was Mother’s responsibility! He loved everyone, because being so young; he hadn’t had time to form an adverse opinion of anybody. The Father loved him, and was delighted with the new addition to the family. He had great plans for Harry, as indeed he had for all his family.
Then there was great Uncle Cyril. Cyril had seen better days. Or so he thought. His favourite song was ‘Fings ain’t what they used to be’. The Father loved his uncle even though he was a tiresome old…man, and wished that the family could benefit from the wisdom of his experience, instead of being constantly reminded of it.
One day, Father Kingdom said to his family:
Father: I’ve got a job we can all do together! The garden! (all are horrified, Norman hides behind a Beano comic)
Mother: I hope you don’t mean me! I’m really too ordinary to do the garden. My job is looking after the home and family. You could ask Angela. (exit)
Angela: My talents lie in a different direction, Dad. You know I’m not really the gardening type. (exit Norman, tiptoeing) If I break my fingernails, I won’t be able to play the guitar. Now Carol’s got the strength for it. (exit)
Carol: Well, actually Dad, I’m…going out! I’ve really no time. I’ve got to do half an hour on the exercise bike, before tennis practice at half past seven. My muscles aren’t really the type of muscles you need. Why don’t you ask Norman, the exercise would do him good, if the strain didn’t kill him first? (exit, running)
Father: Now then, Uncle Cyril!
Father: (louder) I said ‘Now then, Uncle Cyril!’
Cyril: There’s no need to shout. I can hear perfectly well. When I was a lad, I could hear…
Father: I was just wondering if you could help a bit in the garden.
Cyril: Garden! Call that a garden? I remember when gardens really were gardens. Up at dawn we were, weeding, pruning, planting, and digging. None of these fancy fertilisers, good old cow muck, that’s what we used! You never get vegetables like we grew then! I once grew a cabbage three feet wide…
Father: It was two foot six last time you mentioned it.
Cyril: None of these ‘ere modern tools! Everything done by hand. I had calluses on my hands like golf balls. And that’s where my rheumatism started, all that digging in the cold and wet, we thought nothing of…
Father: Well, you can use modern tools, if you like.
Cyril: My rheumatism’s not what it was, I’ve had my day. I can’t do it; besides, it’s time for the Archers. (turns on radio. Archer’s theme tune, pre-taped is played, fading off in next speech. Father is left with baby).
Father: Will you help me Harry? I know you would if you could, precious. But who will do the work of the Kingdom family? Just me? That wasn’t what I had in mind! Of course, it’s different when it comes to pocket money time. They’re all over me when they want something, even him! (indicating Cyril, who has fallen asleep) I need my children to help me, if they’d all do what they’re good at! There’s so much that can be done, if they’d stop squabbling amongst themselves, thinking they’re better or worse than the rest! Don’t they know that I love them equally and appreciate their different personalities? (enter Mother)
Mother: Darling, I’ve been thinking, I know I’m only an ordinary housewife, but I’m still part of the family…
Father: …and a very important part, my love.
Mother: …so I’ve been thinking, I could clear away the rubbish, and make a big bonfire. After all, it’s not much different from clearing up our Norman’s room, is it?
Father: That’ll be a good start. If only the children would lend a hand… (enter Angela and Carol)
Angela: Dad, me and Carol had a little talk, and we thought that it was a bit mean, not helping, ‘cos you’ve given us so much. We could perhaps do some of the garden between us. Carol’s got muscles for digging…
Carol: …and Angela’s got nimble fingers for counting out seeds and the patience for planting them straight. She could hoe the weeds, too when the seedlings are growing, then she won’t break her fingernails.
Mother: And I could make sandwiches, and bring tea out onto the lawn.
Father: Lawn? Lawn, did you say? If you mean that patch of meadow at the back, I think we need someone to restore a bit of Law ‘n Order first. (They all think. Norman slouches in)
Carol: He won’t do anything!
Father: Look, child, you’re very good at jumping to conclusions, give him a chance to speak!
Norman: Dad, I know I’m not as clever as Angela, or as strong as Carol, but if you could use a sensitive, artistic type?
Carol: I can’t believe I’m hearing this!
Norman: Perhaps I could mow the lawn or something… Providing the mower’s electric, that is. It’d be nice for sunbathing, then!
Father: Good lad, Norman, there’s the mower. It’ll need a good oiling first.
Carol: I’ll help you lift it.
Father: With your artistic talent, you’ll create some nice regular stripes as you mow. You might even enjoy the experience! (Everyone turns to look at Cyril, who is pretending to be asleep. Then they look at Harry)
Angela: What can he do?
Father: Oh, I think he can watch us working together, and then when he’s grown up a bit, he’ll be able to help us, too. Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy his company. We’re all in it together…. Or should be (looking at Cyril – freeze)
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENDING
As each of the following speeches are given, the actor steps forward, and out of his role –
Mother: In the average family, there are members at different levels of maturity. All have different talents and gifts, and all can be useful if they work together.
Angela: So it is in God’s family. There is no need to feel inferior; if we can’t do the things that others are seen to do. We all have something to offer, something to give. Experience can walk hand in hand with enthusiasm.
Carol: Like an ordinary family has to put aside differences in order to get the job done, so we as God’s children sometimes need to forget our personal opinions, forgive one another, and give ourselves to the work of the Father.
All: We’re all in it together!
© Copyright Susan Walton, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.