This short drama highlights our tendency to not trust God with the garbage in our lives. Often, prayer is a last resort after we have tried in every way to fix the problem ourselves. God is waiting for us to bring all our garbage to Him. He’s not shocked by the stuff we’ve been carrying around, and it doesn’t make Him love us any less.
- Use a thick marker to write the following words (each word in large, bold letters and each word on a separate sheet of paper): SIN, SHAME, HURT, PAIN, ANGER, BITTERNESS, UNFORGIVENESS, DISAPPOINTMENT, FEAR, REGRET, BETRAYAL, DISHONESTY, ADDICTION, LUST, ENVY, PRIDE, JEALOUSY, HATRED, GREED, SELFISHNESS, PREJUDICE, RACISM, THEFT, UNFAITHFULNESS, MEANNESS (Feel free to use other words that better suit your audience.)
- Crumple up all the sheets of paper.
- Assemble a costume for the person playing Jesus (white robe, sash or shawl, beard, etc.)
SCENE: Jo/e enters from the side or back of the room, harried and unsuccessfully trying to hold onto armfuls of crumpled sheets of paper. Each time she/he drops one, she/he stoops to pick it up before continuing toward the stage. Dressed recognizably in a white robe and having a beard – Enters casually following Jo/e, watching her/him curiously as they both move to the stage.
Jesus – “Hey, Jo/e, watcha got there?”
Jo/e – (Clearly uncomfortable and trying to hide the crumpled paper from Jesus) “Oh, hi, Jesus. I’m not sure what you are referring to. I don’t have anything.”
(As she/he is talking, several of the crumpled papers fall to the ground. Jo/e hurriedly tries to pick them up, but Jesus stoops and picks one up before Jo/e can get to it.)
Jesus – (Uncrumpling the paper and holding it inconspicuously in a way so that the audience can see what is written on it or reading it aloud) “Jo/e, this is garbage. Why are you carrying this around?”
Jo/e – (Trying to take the paper back from Jesus) “Oh, Jesus, don’t worry about that. I’ve got that taken care of.” (Drops more papers in attempt to get the one Jesus is holding.)
Jesus – (Keeping the first paper out of Jo/e’s reach and picking up another one from the ground, opens it and reads it aloud.) “Jo/e, this one, too? Don’t you know that you can give this stuff to me? ”
Jo/e – (Trying unsuccessfully to get papers back from Jesus but dropping more each time.) “Jesus, please let me have those back! They’re mine, and I’m handling them.”
Jesus – (Picking up another paper and reading it aloud.) “Oh, Jo/e! This is too much for you to carry! All this garbage is making your life a mess!”
Jo/e – “Jesus, I really don’t want you to see those. And I’m doing fine with them, really! I’ve had them for a long time.”
Jesus – “I know you have, Jo/e. I’ve been waiting for you to bring them to me, but you’re stubborn, and you’ve been holding on to them for far too long. Your garbage is starting to stink, Jo/e, and you can’t hide it any longer. Let me take it away for you.”
Jo/e – (Clutching the papers) “But I don’t know how! It’s part of me, and I’m afraid of letting it go.”
Jesus – “I’m not asking you to let go of all of it at once. We can start small. How about we start with this one? (Gestures with one of the papers He has collected.) Can I keep it?”
Jo/e – (Looking pained and indecisive for a moment before relenting) “Oh, okay! Keep it! But just that one!” (Reaches over, grabs the other two pieces of paper from Jesus, crumples them back up and replaces them in the pile in her/his arms.)
Jesus – (Smiling) “Okay, Jo/e, it’s a start…and a good one. Let’s talk about where this came from and how to keep it from controlling your life.” (Turns and begins walking toward the exit.)
Jo/e – (Stooping to pick up any dropped pieces of paper before following Jesus out of the room.) “Hey, you know, Jesus…I feel a little better already. I may have another one in here somewhere that I’m ready to give you.”
Jesus – (Before exiting with Jo/e following) “Excellent, Jo/e! From now on, I want you to consider me your personal garbage collector. I do pickups anytime, day or night.”