JohnSWilson3 Blog

A Play: Jesus’ Life in His Believers (Thessalonica)
February 24, 2012, 11:46 am
Filed under: 1- Discovering Organic Church Life Testimony

Jesus’ Life Spreads to Thessalonica (Acts 17)

Narrator: Paul left Timothy and Luke in Philippi to help the brothers and sisters learn to live by the life of Christ in them, to live by faith with love toward one another and their neighbors, while he and Silas travel to Thessalonica.

Paul: (walking with Silas) I am so thankful that Christ brought us together to share in His life and now having seen His life in others in Philippi! I thank you Lord Jesus for the grace you have given these who have believed in your name!

Silas: How wonderful it was to see not just Lydia and her household come to faith in Christ but wonder of all wonders that our jailer and his family as well! How amazing you are Father to lead us in this adventure of knowing your Son by experiencing your life together and to see your life spread!

Paul: Amen brother Silas. Father we ask that you keep our brothers and sisters in Philippi as well as our dear friends Timothy and Luke in Your perfect peace, keeping their eyes focused on Jesus, as they share your life with one another. Look up ahead it seems that there is a Jewish synagogue here in this city of Thessalonica. I believe that God again will do a work here, showing us again that He desires a place of rest, a place to dwell in a people here in this city and in every city in the world.

Narrator: As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on Saturday for three weeks he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.

Narrator: The brothers and sisters in one part of the city have gathered in Jason’s house.

Tryphena: (looking worried) My brothers and sisters I am very concerned about the threats that the Jewish leaders have made against us and especially our dear brothers Paul and Silas who shared with us our Lord Jesus. I have prayed asking Father for help and His peace but I have no peace.

Persis: My sister Tryphena you are most loved by Jesus, He is in you and is now your life as we have all seen and experienced, just as Paul and Silas told us. We have seen His love in you, we have seen your faith how you have given yourself in helping our dear sister Mary when she was left on the streets by her husband after she confessed the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tryphosa: Father give us spiritual eyes to see you as our peace. Thank You that Christ Jesus is our rest. Thank you that we no longer try to rest by being religious on a particular day but that when we fix our eyes on You, no matter the day or time, You become our rest.

Aristarchus: Remember brothers and sisters what Christ through Paul told us. He has told us many times that we would be persecuted. Remember the stories of what Paul told us about what the other brothers and sisters have gone through around the world as a result of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. It was the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem who put to death our Lord Jesus.

Mary: Yes, but praise God that He raised Him from the dead!

Secundus: Amen, and now lives in us right now!

Jason: Amen brother Secundus, God has given us much grace as we have learned to see our flesh as dead and that we are now alive in Jesus by His resurrection from the dead.

Secundus: Yes, even though I was your legal slave, God has made us brothers by what Christ did on the cross, taking away the hostility between us. Thank you brother Jason for not just speaking the freedom of Christ to me but showing me the freedom of Christ by freeing me from my bonds so that I can serve you even better as a brother in Christ!

Tryphena: (looking happy) Thank you brothers and sisters for the encouragement you have given me, the encouragement that is Christ in you. We are most blessed in Jesus, blessed with His peace, blessed with His love, blessed with His grace. How I love you all for your kind words, for the words that Jesus gave you to say at this moment.

Narrator: The disciples hear some loud banging at the front door of Jason’s house. Suddenly men with swords and axes came rushing into the house.

Person 1: (speaking angrily) Where is Paul and Silas?! Tell us now! No one gets harmed unless you find them now!

Narrator: The Jewish leaders were jealous of Paul and Silas; so they had rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, had formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.

Narrator: The brothers and sisters go to their knees and begin to pray together.

Tryphena: Father help us in our time of need!

Aristarchus: Father forgive them for they know not what they do!

Mary: Watch over Paul and Silas!

Jason: Men why have you committed this crime of rushing into my house and threatening us? We have always meant to lead a quiet life, minding our own business, and working with our hands. What have we done to cause you to do this thing?

Person 2: (speaking loudly) It has nothing to do with those things but because we have been told that you no longer call Caesar king but a dead person named Jesus and this Paul and Silas have been causing trouble causing others to defy Caesar!

Narrator: The men who had rushed into Jason’s house are so angry they do not give Jason or the others a chance to speak. When they could not find Paul and Silas they dragged Jason and some other believers out of the house.

Person 1: (dragging Jason) (speaking angrily) Since we can’t find Paul or Silas let’s take them to the city officials!

Person 2: (dragging Secundus) (speaking loudly) Caesar is king!

Narrator: The crowd, dragging Jason and some other believers, arrive at the city officials.

Person 1: (shouting to the city officials) “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.”

Narrator: When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go. As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea.

A Play: Jesus’ Life in His Believers (Philippi)
February 18, 2012, 1:04 pm
Filed under: 1- Discovering Organic Church Life Testimony

The following is a play that I worked on for our fellowship of students a couple weeks ago who are learning to gather organically at a middle school. Our first year we did some plays related to Frank Viola’s booklet “Bethany,” looking at Jesus finding a place of rest with His people during His earthly ministry. Our second year we did some plays related to Christ’s resurrection appearances looking at Christ’s resurrection life. And this third year we are doing some plays related to Christ’s life spreading through His people who gather as a place of rest in Christ by His resurrection life. It is not meant to be word for word from the Bible and I have taken some liberty in the dialogue. There is some historical accuracy and I have used other passages of scripture to help with the dialogue. The students really loved acting it out, :). We normally do about 4 plays each school year with the intent of learning how to participate together in love.

Jesus’ Life Spreads to Philippi (Acts 16)

Narrator: The location is Philippi, a Roman colony and a leading city of that district of Macedonia. It is Saturday and outside the city gate at the river are some women who have gathered to share about and sing to the God of Israel.

Euodia: (reading from a Psalm) “I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”

Syntyche: Euodia what do you think it means “I will declare your name to my people?” Whose name is the singer talking about?

Euodia: I do not know my sister. Lydia, do you have any idea? Is it the God of Israel? We must know the name that we are to praise!

Lydia: Sisters I have heard that some men from Troas arrived just a couple days ago. I believe they may be Jews, although I believe some of them are Greek like us. I have heard rumor that some of them may be from Jerusalem. Perhaps they could help us. Let us pray to the God of Israel for help.

Narrator: As the women are praying, Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke walk down to the river. The men sit down. The women stop praying noticing that some men have gathered near them.

Silas: (to his companions) Brothers we had expected that since there is no Jewish synagogue in this city that we might find some who worship the God of Israel near the river. And in front of us are some dear women who are praying.

Paul: You are right brother Silas, the Lord has led us to this very place. See what the Lord is doing in front of us my brothers Timothy and Luke. The vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us” is indeed from Christ Jesus our Lord.

Timothy: To hear Him in us, to experience Christ’s life in us is truly wonderful!

Luke: Amen, brother Timothy! He is our guide, He leads, we listen and follow what He says. Brother Paul has truly helped us to live as new creations by His Spirit.

Lydia: (bowing) My lords, my name is Lydia and these are my dear friends Euodia and Syntyche. We are aware that you have come from Jerusalem and have news to tell us. Our sister Euodia was reading a psalm that said “I will declare your name to my people.” Do you know whose name the singer was referring to? Is the singer referring to the God of Israel? We humbly ask that you share with us what you know for we have heard that something strange has occurred in Jerusalem and that reports have spread of a Jewish Messiah, called the Christ, who was crucified but raised to life.

Paul: I am Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus. I sense the Lord Jesus has opened the hearts of not a few here in Philippi, beginning first with you dear women. Only the Lord knows what will happen, but I can see that God is looking for a house to dwell in here in this place.

Lydia: But isn’t God’s house the temple in Jerusalem?

Paul: My dear Lydia, God does not live in a house made of stone but in a people. From the beginning God has desired a people who would follow Him, to live by His life and be a house to live in. The temple in Jerusalem is only a picture of His real home, the gathering of brothers and sisters who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ in every city in every place on this earth.

Lydia: Jesus was the Jewish Messiah?

Paul: Jesus was crucified but is now alive, He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Lord Himself, for any who would believe in His name. He now lives in His people by His Spirit. All of scripture testifies of the One to come, Jesus, who is both Lord and Christ. It is Jesus who we declare to you today. It is Jesus, in me who is calling you to Himself. I have been called to be a messenger and set apart for the good news of God—the good news he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to faith and obedience for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. It is by Him in me that I now live. He is now our new life.

Lydia: I am being called to belong to Jesus Christ? Jesus died and rose again for me, because He loves me?

Paul: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved both you and those here who have heard the message and believe.

Lydia: My heart only wants to belong to Jesus. I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my life!

Timothy: Only the Holy Spirit can be doing this!

Silas: So true brother Timothy, I stand amazed by His grace!

Euodia and Syntyche: We also have believed!

Luke: Since we are here at the river, let us witness to this city that Christ Jesus has now come to this place and has begun a new work, a new creation!

Paul: Yes brother. The heavenly places will be shaken because God has found a place to dwell in, a people who will live by His Son, a life full of living water.

Silas: (to the women) Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Paul: Yes suffering will come, but hope remains. Christ Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Because you have believed you are completely forgiven and have been raised to new life in Him. You are new creations. He has made you clean, like being immersed in water.

Lydia: Brothers we have the river here. Because we have believed let us be immersed in the water to show that God has taken away our sin and made us new creations!

Narrator: When Lydia and the members of her household were immersed in water, she invited Paul and his companions to her home.

Lydia: (to Paul and his companions) If you consider me a believer in the Lord come and stay at my house.

Narrator: The brothers were persuaded and the new disciples each learned to share by faith with love the Lord Jesus Christ with one another.