Summary: Shoppers are brought to reflect on the fact that Christians are “clothed in the righteousness of Christ”. In spite of our feelings of unworthiness, God imputes the righteousness of Jesus, who was sinless, to believers. The challenge then is to conform to the image of Christ so that we may let His light shine through our lives.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 7 minutes
Actors: 5, with at least one M
Scriptures: Is 61:10 Mat 5:16 Gal 3:27, 4:19 Eph 4:24 Rom 8:29, 10:4, 13:14 2 Cor 5:19-21
Background for This Drama
As I write this in 2015 we are in the midst of a cultural phenomenon expressed in the wearing of Tee shirts imprinted with the words, “I am…” followed by a proper noun, usually the name of a person, but sometimes also an institution, business, or city. The only example I have seen on display where I shop has been “I am Detroit”, but I don’t get out much. On the news I have seen “I am Trayvon”, “I am Mike Brown” and “Je suis Charlie” (French for, “I am Charlie”).
As I reflected upon the strong feelings that motivated people to wear shirts imprinted with these messages I wondered what would happen if Christians, many of whom have strong feelings about their faith, wanted to wear “I am…” shirts. I hope the following sketch provides food for thought.
(Setting: Interior retail such as Christian bookstore. No sets or props required, although printed Tee shirts enhance this skit
(Salesperson is center stage when action begins.)
Salesperson: (Addressing Shopper 1, who is entering, as though answering a question the shopper has just asked) Yes we have those, and we still have a nice selection, although they have been selling pretty fast. Which Bible Character were you thinking of?
Shopper 1: Mmmm… I was sort of thinking of David. Not because he killed Goliath, and all that military heroics stuff, but more like…well, I’m a musician, and David seems to have been an excellent harpist. And boy could he write! Those Psalms are amazing! And, David wasn’t perfect, and I’m not either. He had some serious sin in his life, but he returned to the Lord. When David repented God took him back.
Salesperson: Yes, we have that one. You look like maybe a size (insert size).
(Shopper 2 enters) Salesperson continues talking to Shopper 1 who quickly puts on shirt and looks in mirror.
Salesperson, continuing to Shopper 1: You don’t want it too baggy if you want folks to be able to read it.
Shopper 2: (Looking at Shopper 1, who is wearing “I am David” shirt) Cool!
Salesperson: (Addressing Shopper 2) Hi there. May I help you?
Shopper 2: Uh, well, I was kind of thinking of Peter. I think as a fisherman he was a working man like me. And I know that even though he really Loved Jesus, he denied Him three times. God forgave Peter and he went on to do great things. I can sure relate to Peter’s imperfection, and I like the way God’s grace made him strong.
(Shopper 3 enters, followed by Shopper 4.)
Salesperson: (To Shopper 2) You look like about a size ____. Here, try this one on.
(Shopper 2 quickly puts on shirt and admires it in the mirror. He/She and Shopper 1 begin a friendly silent “conversation” about their shirts in the background.)
Salesperson: (Still talking to Shopper 2) Looks great. (Turns to greet Shopper 3) Hi, there. (Then immediately to Shopper 4) Excuse me, please. I’ll be right with you.
Shopper 3: (Embarrassed and hesitant) I feel kind of funny about this.
Salesperson: (To shopper 3) Relax. No one is a perfect match with a Bible character. It’s not about that. It’s more about whom you relate to.
Shopper 3: Well, I was gonna say Paul.
Salesperson: (Encouraging) That is a great choice. I’m surprised we don’t have more requests for it.
Shopper 3: I haven’t been a Christian very long, and my life is really changing fast. I feel like a different person than I was before I gave my life to Jesus. I read in the Bible how Paul started out hating Christians, and then God completely changed him. I know I don’t expect to ever be a great missionary like Paul, but I do know my future is in God’s hands.
Salesperson: Great. (Gives him the shirt)
(Author Note: I have skipped the bit here about what size, etc. to move the sketch along. If you think it is important, put it back in.)
Salesperson: (To Shopper 4) Thanks for waiting.
Shopper 4: It may sound funny, but I was thinking of Martha. (If a man plays this part, wait for the laugh.)
Salesperson: (Reassuring) Yes, I think we have a Martha here somewhere.
Shopper 4: I know Martha is not the best example of holiness in the Bible, but I’m just being honest. I like to work behind the scenes at church, providing physical things that make the mission of the church possible. I *work in the kitchen, take out the trash, serve as an usher and _____.
(Author Note: Write this part so it makes sense in your church’s life, and is appropriate to the actor playing this role. Consider gender, etc. Avoid teaching, public speaking, prayer ministry, and things your people would think of as “spiritual” in the usual sense.)
Shopper 4: (Continuing) I know the Bible makes it clear that Jesus said Mary did the better thing when she sat at His feet while Martha was in the kitchen cooking, but I still think Martha showed love by working to prepare food for Jesus. So I’m not a preacher or a teacher or a person who likes attention. I try to serve where I can, and I’m just a Martha.
Salesperson: (Giving shirt to Shopper 4) Here, Martha. And quit beating yourself up. (Now addressing all four shoppers)
Each of you has chosen a shirt that fits your experience and you have a shirt that reflects your feelings about how you see yourself. Now, if I may, I want to suggest a shirt that represents how God sees you. This shirt (holds it up). “I am Jesus”. (Shoppers look incredulous. They all speak at once, protesting. The following lines are heard above the ensuing clamor. Make it noisy.)
Shopper 1: Jesus? No way.
Shopper 2: I can’t measure up to Jesus!
Shopper 3: Are you crazy? No one can be Jesus, but Jesus!
Shopper 4: What? You think anyone can be Jesus? That’s impossible!
Salesperson: (Kindly) I know what you are thinking, and of course, you are right. But think of it this way: When you became a Christian you were forgiven. When God forgave you He performed a miracle of grace. He clothed you with the righteousness of Christ and made you kids of the kingdom, joint heirs with Jesus. Each of you today expressed some kind of regret. You know you aren’t perfect. You feel your failure. But when God looks at you, He doesn’t count up the mistakes. Not anymore. Your inadequacies and blunders are all buried forever, and forgotten. In a spiritual sense, when God looks at you He sees Jesus. Isn’t it wonderful?
Shopper 2: I know what you are saying is true, theologically. (The others shoppers nod agreement.)
Shopper 1: But you can’t just go around wearing a shirt that says, “I am Jesus”). People would think you were a nut case”. (All nod agreement, even Salesperson).
Shopper 4: Talk about delusions of grandeur…!
Salesperson: I know, I know. And the truth is, if you identify yourself as a Christian, others will hold you to a different standard. They will be watching you, hoping to catch you in a screw-up, so they can call you a hypocrite. Some folks will respect you for your faith if they see you doing things they admire, but most people will not like it if you make them feel guilty. They don’t want to feel judged, especially by you. Still, the Bible teaches that we should be growing to be more like Jesus. God is the One who brings about this growth, and He can do anything.
Shopper 2: So what, exactly, is the point?
Shopper 1: How many of those have you sold?
Salesperson: The point is, God intends for us to live joyful, victorious lives. Being aware of who we are in Jesus is something we should never forget. And as to how many I have sold, none. People are afraid of them, for reasons you have mentioned.
Shopper 3: I’ll take one. (Other shoppers are intrigued.) I’m going to turn it in-side-out, so I have Jesus next to my heart. I think that will feel really good.
Shopper 4: People still might ask you questions.
Shopper 3: I hope they do. I will tell them why God sees me covered by the righteousness of Jesus, and why I wear Jesus close to my heart.
Shopper 1: I saw a song in an old Hymn book, “Let Others See Jesus In You”.
Shopper 2: It’s a challenge we all face, every day, shirt or no shirt.
Shopper 4: Yes. Let’s pray for each other. (All join hands)
Heavenly Father, thank You for making us your children clothed in the righteousness of Christ. We understand that You have a plan for each of us that is a perfect fit. Help us by Your grace to live joyful, victorious lives that fulfill your perfect will . Amen.
Most churches do not have a member who is in the Tee shirt business. Options to consider would be painting shirts by hand, or writing on white shirts with a giant marker. As I envision it, the skit would be done in pantomime. Shoppers go through the motions of pulling on the shirts, smoothing out the fronts, adjusting the shirt bottoms, admiring themselves in an imaginary mirror, etc. Characters also engage each other in silent conversation and react to statements made by others.
I had Shopper 4, offer the closing prayer for a reason. I think we need to tear down the fence that divides service roles into “spiritual” and “not-so-spiritual”. I read somewhere that “the most spiritual people in the church need to be the ones that handle the finances”. It made me think. Also, I had the recent convert be the one enthusiastic enough to take the “Jesus” shirt. Those of us who grew up in the church, might take a lesson from new Christians.
Feel free to adapt this script to meet the needs of your situation.
© James Burnet 2015. All rights reserved. This sketch may be performed free of charge. This script may be altered and adapted.