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Summary: God’s Court is a Halloween play or a fall festival play.  The plot and characters in God’s Court were suggested by the young teens I had Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. So they represent what sins they were most aware of and concerned with. I wrote the story and we refined it together. The shadow figure was played by the smallest child at their suggestion. The character has no lines.  Costumes are optional for everyone but the shadow figure. Her costume was a dark drape with eyes cut out. She was both spooky and added comic relief.
Style: Dramatic.   Duration:  20min
Actors: 5M, 2F, 4M/F

(NOTE: The whole play is written so the players can have the script with them. They each carried folders like lawyers do in court. The Reporter had a clip board.  The main props needed are tables for the lawyers to sit at, a desk for the judge and chair for the witness. You can set the courtroom up according to the room you have available to you. You will also need a torn page to represent the page from the book of life Satan stole. The person playing the prosecutor will have it in his/her file.
As usual, if you use this play, change it to fit who you have available and your situation. If you are uncomfortable about some of the characters, remember I, as an adult did not suggest them. These are situations the teens were concerned about. If rural Kentucky kids were concerned with it, I’m sure most other kids have encountered the same things.)


Cast
The Judge, God Almighty
Bailiff
Jesus (The Defender)
Satan Devil (The Prosecutor)
Reporter
Bryant Anthony
Stacie Collins
Rah
Tracey Marks
Matthew Rogers
Shadow Figure(s)
 

Script

CASE ONE

Reporter
Hello. I’m _________, and I am your reporter for today. Our persecutor is Satan Devil, who will argue today’s cases in front of the Honorable Judge, God Almighty. The defending counselor is Jesus of Nazareth. After the judgments, I will follow up on each case. Let’s go inside the courtroom.

(The judge enters carrying a the Book of Life,( and puts it on the desk or music stand and leaves it through all the cases), followed by Jesus and the first defendant, Bryant Anthony. They take their places at their table.)

Bailiff
All rise for the Honorable….

Devil
Objection, the judge is not honorable.

Bailiff (frowning at Devil)
…The Honorable Judge God Almighty. The first case is God versus Bryant Anthony.

God
Let’s start. Devil, present your case.

Devil (Crosses his fingers behind his back)
Thank you, Honorable Judge. (Uncrosses his fingers) When Bryant was 15 he attacked his mother because she went in his room to get his laundry. He said she had no right in his private domain. It was his. His alone. At 17, he accidentally killed a dog. He discovered it made his feel powerful. He stole a gun and started going to a practice range. He was a good shot. There he met a man who asked him what he wanted to do with his life. And Bryant said he liked killing things. The man, Tim, was looking for someone to train and put to work in his organization. From then, Bryant began following his bosses’ directions. This man likes what he does. He will not change. He’s mine. He deserves to be controlled by me and come with me to Hell when he dies.

God
Thank you. Defense Counselor, please present your case.

Jesus
We will prove this man has some good in him. He is not all bad. He does good things with his money, and loves his family.
He is not perfect, but there is always hope he will repent.

Devil
But he hates his enemies. Never get on his bad side. As far as I know, he just kills for business, but he could cross the line anytime and start killing innocent people.

Jesus
Objection!

God
That is not proven. Objection sustained. Jesus, continue.

Jesus
It’s true he has not repented yet. But if I can work with him, just a little longer I think there is hope.

God
Does he know right from wrong?

Devil
Of course he does, and he doesn’t care! He’s mine.

God
Silence!
(Devil frowns)

Jesus
Can we question him?

God
If you think that will help.

Jesus
I call Bryant Anthony to the stand. (Bryant takes the stand)

Bailiff (Brings Bible to the witness)
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Bryant
I do. (He sits down.)

Jesus
Bryant, tell me what happened to you to make you choose this path.

Bryant
I was made to feel small all my life. The only place I was comfortable was in my room. I had no power. I didn’t feel good about myself. I just didn’t have anything to make myself feel good. I tried my mother’s way, but it didn’t work for me. When I have the power of life and death in my hands, I am alive.

Jesus
Do you ever want to do anything different?

Bryant
Sometimes I want to retire. I’m a little tired of this sometimes.

Jesus
Don’t you regret hurting people?

Bryant
I only hurt people who deserve it.

Jesus
Does it bother you?

Bryant
No. It’s what I do.

Jesus
Is there any chance you will be sorry for what you have done?

Bryant
I like who I am. I’m good to people who are good to me.

Jesus
Anything else you want to say in your defense?

Bryant
I do good things with my money. I take good care of my family. I don’t hurt people who don’t have anything to do with me.

Jesus
But are you willing to change?

Bryant
Why should I? I’m fine like I am.

Jesus (Shakes his head.)
I rest my case. There is good in this man. Please consider there is hope for every man. I’m not willing to give up on this person.

God
Thank you. Devil, you want to cross-examine.

Devil (Gets up and approaches the stand.)
Of course. Mr. Anthony, how many people have you killed?

Bryant
Five.

Devil
Why?

Bryant
It’s what I am paid for. It’s just business.

Devil
Are you sorry?

Anthony
No. They deserved it.

Devil
Who said they deserved it?

Bryant
I did. And my boss. They didn’t do what we wanted them to do.

Devil
Are you worried about what happens when you die?

Bryant
Why should I? I live, and then I die…. I don’t believe in God.

Devil
This man is unrepentant. He sees no reason to change. He does not believe. He will not ever believe. He is mine! Sentence him to live under my influence and go Hell when he dies.

God
Thank you, both. I have no choice but to give Bryant Anthony into Devil’s hands. I give him up to live under Devils influence and to hell if he does not repent.

(He bangs his gavel. Jesus puts his hands in his hands. Bryant shrugs and goes out to meet the reporter.)

Reporter
Well, Bryant, you lost. You are going to spend your life controlled by Devil and spend eternity in hell if you don’t repent. What do you think?

Bryant
No big deal. I’m fine.

Reporter
But. . .

Bryant
I don’t believe in this heaven and hell stuff.
(a shadowy figure enters and pulls him away. He looks around and suddenly realizes what is happening.)
Wait! Wait! Maybe I was wrong….. Hey, leave me alone. There is no God! HELP!

Reporter (shakes his head sadly)
Here is Jesus. Jesus, what do you think about this case?

Jesus
He couldn’t see through his own sense of right and pride. He won’t repent. I can’t repent for him. I just wish I could. I could have helped him if he would have let me. But he just couldn’t let me. I’m sorry. (He leaves sadly.)

Reporter
Thank you. Here comes the prosecutor.

Devil (gleefully)
I won! I told you he wouldn’t repent. He’s mine. I can’t talk now. Got to go!

Reporter
Well. Let’s go back inside as the next case begins.
(End of Case # 1)

 

CASE TWO


(Stacie enters and takes her place.  Jesus enters and sits next to her. Devil takes his place.)

Bailiff
This is the case of God Versus Stacie Collins. All rise for the Judge, God Almighty.

(Judge God Almighty enters)

God (motions everyone to sit back down.)
Devil, your opening remarks if you will?

Devil (crossing his fingers behind his back.)
Thank you, Your Honor. (Uncrosses fingers) I intend to prove this woman is mine and should be under my control and come with me to hell when she dies. She is a prostitute. She is a thief. She had an abortion.

God
What is the Defense’s opening statement?

Jesus
We intend to prove a change of heart has taken place.

God
Thank you. I understand we have a witness in this case.

Devil
Yes, I want to call one of my own demons, Rah.
(Rah enters. The Bailiff moves toward her to have her take the oath, but Rah ignores her and sits as she begins speaking… Bailiff returns to her place.)

Rah
I am the spirit Rah … and I will not swear to tell the truth in (he gestures toward the Judge) in his name, but I will tell my truth.

(Jesus starts to get up and object, but God motions his to sit down.)

Devil
Tell us about Stacie.

Rah.
She was open to worshiping us, so I was sent to help her believe in Satan.

Devil
That’s me?

Rah
Yes you. She had turned her back on (he gestures again toward the judge) him, and was looking for something to believe in. I helped her see your power.

Devil
What else?

Rah
I made her realize how beautiful the human body is, and taught her how to tempt men. And get money for it.
We, you and me together, encouraged her to take things her customers had in their possession. We rewarded her with lots of customers and money.

Devil
Did you make her do these things?

Rah
Who me? No. She wanted to do them. I just encouraged her a little.

Devil
So, you would say she had these things in her all along?

Rah
Of course. She is a wonderfully evil person.

Devil
Thank you. You are dismissed.

God
Wait. Jesus, do you want to question Rah?

Jesus
Yes. One question. Rah, who is your Lord? The one you obey?

Rah
Satan, of course.

Jesus
Your Honor, I suggest you consider the source of this testimony when you make your judgment. This spirit belongs to the very one who is the accuser.

Devil
Objection! The counselor is the Judge’s own son.

God (smiles)
Thank you, Jesus. Devil, I will also consider that. Rah, you are dismissed.
(Rah leaves reluctantly.)
Devil, do you want to question the defendant?

Devil
No, I don’t want to talk to Stacie yet.

God
Jesus, state your case.

Jesus
I want to call Stacie Collins as her own witness.

(Stacie rises and approaches the stand. The Bailiff brings the Bible over to her.)

Bailiff
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Stacie
I do. (She sits down.)

Jesus
What do you say to these accusations?

Stacie
They were all true.

Jesus
Did you sell your body for money?

Stacie (softly)
Yes.

God
I’m afraid you have to speak up.

Stacie (a little louder)
Yes, I did.

Jesus
Did you worship Satan?

Stacie
For a little while.

Jesus
Did you steal?

Stacie
Yes.

Jesus
Did you have an abortion?

Stacie
I was very young. I didn’t even know who the father was.

Jesus
Did you enjoy your life?

Stacie (smiling sadly)
Sometimes.

Jesus
Are you sorry?

Stacie
Yes! I want to be different. I don’t want to keep doing these things. The fun doesn’t last very long, and I’m left with nothing…but money. I’m empty inside.

Jesus
Do you want help to change?

Stacie
Yes! I’m sorry for the wrong things I did. I believe you can help me change. You can change what I want to do. I want you to help me. Will you?

Devil
Objection! She is what she is, and will always be just the same. She is guilty.

God
That’s true. She is guilty. She admits it.

Jesus
But Your Honor, don’t you see, she has repented. She calls upon us to change her so she can be clean inside and be different. You always pardon people who come before you and repent.

Devil
No! She has to pay. She’s guilty.

God (Smiling and not paying any attention the Devil.)
Yes. Yes I do. I do pardon anyone who asks. Stacie, how did this change of heart happen?

Stacie
There was a man helping an old lady get food, and I thought he was a customer. At my invitation he shook his head and said, “I’d give all my money if you would listen to me.” So I did. He told me about love and your love for me. And I liked it. He gave me stuff to read, and I did. Then I had to come here. But I believe in God, and Jesus. I know you can help me change.

Jesus
And we will. Stacie, you are forgiven of your sins. Go, be a witness to me, just as that man was to you. Help people and love God with all your heart, mind, body and soul. And grow in our presence.

Stacie
I will. I accept your forgiveness.
(Pauses) Wow! I am changing already. Thank you….. Thank you.

God
You are pardoned. Case dismissed.

(Bangs gavel, then reaches for the Book of Life and writes her name in it.)

Reporter
Well, there was a lot of emotion in that case. Here comes the prosecutor. Devil, what do you think about this case?

Devil
She should have been mine. She did bad things. Hurt a lot of people. She is guilty. Repent??? Huh…. I’m going to watch her. People don’t just change like that, you know.

Reporter
Here’s the Defender and Stacie. Jesus, how does this feel?

Jesus
The greatest joy in all heaven and earth is to accept the repentance of a guilty person and forgive them.

Reporter
Is it that simple? No pleading or yelling?

Jesus
A simple desire for a changed heart, believe in God and me, and believe we can change you, and a sincere “I’m sorry” is all that is needed.

Reporter
Wow! Well, Stacie, what do you have to say?

Stacie
I’m free. From now on, I will become a different person.

(Jesus and Stacie go off together.)

Reporter
Now that was different from our last case wasn’t it? Let’s get on with the next case.

(End of Case #2)


CASE THREE

Reporter
This case is God versus Tracey Marks. Strangely enough, Tracey is the sister of Stacie, who was part of our last case.  Let’s go inside the courtroom.

Bailiff
All rise for the Honorable Judge God Almighty.

(Everyone rises, as the judge enters. Jesus and Devil take their places with defendant.)

God
Devil, give us your opening remarks.

Devil
The defendant, Tracey Marks, is mine. She had an affair with one man while she was married, and states she will do it again if she feels like it. It was something she did on purpose. She decided to do what she knew was wrong.  But more that that, she thinks only of herself. She hates goodness. She hates God and everything connected with God.

God
Jesus, what are your opening remarks?

Jesus
I’m afraid I will have to talk to her to see if I can convince her to repent. However, there is always hope.

God
Devil, present your case. Are that any witnesses in this case?

Devil (gleefully)
(Crosses his fingers behind his back)
Thank you Your Honor. (Uncrosses his fingers.) I don’t need any witnesses but the defendant herself. I call Tracey Marks.

(Tracey approaches the stand and the Bailiff holds out the Bible)

Bailiff
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Tracey (Bored)
Whatever. . . (She takes the witness stand and smiles at everyone.)

Devil
Tracey, what do you believe in?

Tracey
If it feels good, it’s right. If it doesn’t, it’s wrong.

Devil
You’re married. Right?

Tracey
Yes, five years now.

Devil
Have you been faithful?

Tracey
Oh, no one is faithful anymore. We both have had affairs. Only with people we know these days… we can’t be too careful.

Devil
Do you think it is wrong?

Tracey
Don’t let those religious people tell you everything that’s fun is wrong. They just want to make life miserable for everyone. If they can’t enjoy life, they make sure no one else does either.

Devil
Who do you think God is?

Tracey
He’s just some idea parents made up to scare their kids into being good.
(imitates parents .) ‘Now, don’t do that, God will punish you and send you to hell.’ I say god is made up. Not real.

Devil
So, you don’t think you’ll ever change?

Tracey
No way. If there is a God, why do so many bad things happen? Why did my father get sick? Why do we have wars? Why doesn’t everyone get everything they want? I just want life to be fun for everyone. Why can’t we all just do what we want? Now that would make me believe in God. But I hate the God I know about. No fun in life. God hates fun.

Devil
I rest my case. This person I mine. She deserves to live with me in hell.

God
Jesus, present your case.

Jesus
There is good in everyone. Let me find it in her. Tracey, what do you care about?

Tracey
Oh, things. My husband. He has a good job. Having fun. My house. Nice clothes. We’re going to Hawaii next week. We made up after I told him about my last affair. He was mad at first, but I convinced him I always come back to him, and we’re going away to celebrate. I like going places. I care about life.

Jesus
Have you ever wanted life to be better? To really feel loved? God does care about you.

Tracey
Oh no, I’m not going to fall for that (mimics a child’s voice) ‘God loves you and so do I’ (normal voice ) junk. All you want is to have bigger churches so your preachers can get more money and make people sacrifice things. Yuck. Leave me alone. You never will convince me God loves me. I will not serve a God who makes me give up everything I enjoy before he will help me.

Jesus
You know that’s not true. God’s love is the kind of love that wants the very best for you. Sometimes what’s best for you is not to have everything you want. What you give up is not the end. It begins a relationship with God. When you have God with you every day you’ll be happier. It’s a lot to handle, being your own God and being in charge of everything all the time. Let us help you. All you need to do is…

Tracey
I know, I say I’m sorry for what I’ve done, I believe you are God’s son, and you can take away my sins. Well I won’t. I like my sins. Go away.

Jesus (Sighs deeply and gestures helplessly and addresses the Judge.)
I can’t help this dear person unless she wants us to.

God
I’m afraid you are right. (bangs the gavel) Guilty. Devil. She is yours.

Devil
Okay! I won. I knew she was mine.

(all exit and reporter enteres)

Reporter
Well, Tracey refused to repent. Here comes Jesus. (holds out the mic) Jesus, you lost this case. What happened?

Jesus
She refused to see God wants to help her. If she could ask forgiveness, and be sorry for the wrong things she has done, she would learn that is only the beginning. She would not give up her love of self. She doesn’t want to be different. We cannot save her as she is now. (He leaves, sadly.)

Reporter.
Here come Devil and Tracey. Devil, how do you feel about this case?

Devil
I won. She is under my control. I mean to keep her there. I love people like her.

Reporter
Tracey, your sister repented. What do you think about that?

Tracey
She just gave herself up. I don’t know her anymore. We used to have such fun together. Now she just wants to help people. I don’t know what happened. I don’t like it.

(A shadowy figure comes up and take hold of her.)

Hey! Are we going to go somewhere and have fun? Let’s go!

(It starts to take her away.)

No! Wait! This isn’t fun. I don’t like this anymore.

(She breaks away and tries to get to Jesus)

Hey you! Jesus. You said you would help me. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?

Reporter (Sadly)
They never learn. It’s fun until they have to face up to reality.
(End of Case #3)


CASE FOUR

Reporter
We have one more case today. The case of Matthew Rogers versus God Almighty. Let’s go inside one more time.

(Jesus and Devil enter with defendant. Devil is carrying an extra file folder. He sits it on the table before he sits down.)

Bailiff
All rise for the Judge, God Almighty.
(God takes his place.)

God
Thank you. Let’s proceed in the case of Matthew Rogers. Devil, what are your opening remarks?

Devil
This man is a thief. He robbed banks. He shot a teller in the last bank he held up. He lies to everyone just to get what he wants. He’ll say anything if it will help him. He doesn’t care who he hurts. There is no good in him.

God
Thank you, Devil. Jesus, present your opening remarks.

Jesus
If you will look in your Book of Life, you will see this man found God in prison five years ago. He has repented.

God (looking through the book)
I don’t seem to find his name… Matthew Rogers. Matt… No, I’m sorry, it’s not here. I remember forgiving him. Yet his name is not here. Devil, go ahead and present your case while I see what’s happened.

Devil (Smiling, and he crosses his fingers behind his back)
Your Honor, this is too bad. Well, let me call Matthew to the stand. I don’t think I need any other witnesses.

Bailiff (holds out the Bible as Matthew approaches the stand)
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth , and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Matthew
You better believe I do. (He sits down.)

Devil
Now, Matthew, you went to prison for stealing. Robbing banks. How many did you rob?

Matthew
Ten. I didn’t hurt anyone but that one teller. She lived. I’m sorry she got hurt. I meant to scare her good. But she didn’t scare.

Devil
But you liked robbing banks, didn’t you.

Matthew
I used to. But not hurting people. Never liked that.

Devil
How much money did you steal?

Matthew
Don’t matter now. I gave it all back. It was the right thing to do.

Devil
You gave it back? Why?

Matthew
It wrong to steal. It don’t matter what it is. If it’s a bank full of money or someone’s reputation. Don’t matter. Stealing is stealing. God showed me a new way. Giving.

Devil Approaches the witness stand)
You are lying, aren’t you? You’ve lied all your life. And now you think lying will get you off the hook. So you’re lying now just like always. You’re lying to God, and Jesus, and this whole court. You don’t know how to tell the truth.

Matthew( Shaking his head.)
Can’t lie to God.

Devil
Then why can’t the Judge find your name in his precious Book of Life? That proves you are lying.

Matthew
I don’t know what happened to my name, but I repented a long time ago, God forgave me and Jesus and I talk all the time. I like telling kids about God. It makes me happy.

Devil (turning around and going back to his desk.)
You’re just doing it because you heard someone in prison say if you find religion, you’ll get paroled. Now you have to prove to the prison board they didn’t make a mistake.

Matthew
No. I didn’t find religion, I got to know God. And I didn’t get paroled. I knew I had to serve my time for what I did.

Devil
No! That’s not true… I have evidence you were pardoned.

(Devil goes back to his desk, hits the leg with his foot, and knocks the file folder off the desk. Papers go everywhere. People laugh or shake their heads. Devil tries to pick them up in a hurry, but Jesus bends over to help him and silently reads what he picked up.)

Give that back! (Devil tries to get it away, but Jesus holds it away.)

Jesus
Just hold on there.
(He holds the sheet up and reads out loud.)
Book of Life, page number 5,496. It seems to be torn. There it is. Halfway down the page. Matthew Rogers, Pardoned.

(He looks up at God and smiles.)

Indeed, Matthew is pardoned, but not out of the prison the prosecutor is talking about.

(He walks up the judge’s bench and hands the paper to God)

There is our proof. The page is torn from the Book of Life. Satin probably took it during his last visit to accuse one of your children of doing something terrible. Notice the defendant’s name in your own handwriting. Your Honor, I don’t need any other defense than this. This man has repented and is living a life guided by his love for you. He has already been pardoned.

God (looks up and smiles. Then he bangs his gavel)
Case dismissed!

Matthew
I knew it would turn out right. I had faith. I just knew it!

Devil
No! He was a very bad man.

Jesus
Was. That’s the word. Was. It’s over, Devil

(Devil grumbles and gets his papers together. Exits.)

Reporter
Well, that’s our day in court. Here comes Devil, obviously upset over losing the last case. Devil, what are you thinking?

Devil
I got two today, but that’s not enough. I want to win them all. God can’t have any of them. I’ll keep trying.

Reporter
Here comes Jesus and Matthew Rogers. Jesus, what are you thinking?

Jesus
It’s hard to see even one fall under Devil’s influence. I wish they would let me help them. But, we did win two, and there’s a lot of rejoicing going on at home right now.

Devil
(mocking) Rejoicing…. You guys have no idea how to party.

(Devil goes off and Jesus sighs.)

Reporter
I think he missed the point.

Jesus
Yes. He never has understood.

Reporter
And with those words, we’ll close down court for today. Goodbye from God’s Court.

.........................................

(c) Copyright Jo Bower, all rights reserved.
May God bless these words to your lives. If you use the play, let me know.
 Jo Bower , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. See http://jobowerwrites.wordpress.com for a book of readers’ plays.

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