Readers' Theatre: John 20: 19-31

If your worship this Sunday includes John 20:19-31 (one of the Revised Common Lectionary texts for the second Sunday of Easter), you might want to consider reading the passage from The Voice, a unique new translation of the New Testament published by Thomas Nelson. Here it is:

John 20:19-31

Narr:     On that same evening (Resurrection Sunday),
            the followers gathered together behind locked doors
            in fear that some of the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem 
            were still searching for them.  
            Out of nowhere, Jesus appeared in the center of the room.

Jesus:   May each one of you be at peace.

Narr:     As he was speaking,
            He revealed the wounds in His hands and side.
            The disciples began to celebrate
            as it sank in that they were really seeing the Lord.

Jesus:   I give you the gift of peace.
            In the same way the Father sent Me,
            I am now sending you.

Narr:     Now He drew close enough to each of them
            that they could feel His breath. He breathed on them:

Jesus:  Welcome the Holy Spirit of the living God.
            You now have the mantle of God’s forgiveness.
            As you go, you are able to share the life-giving power to forgive sins,
            or withhold forgiveness.

Narr:     All of the eleven were present with the exception of Thomas.
            He heard the accounts of each brother’s interaction with the Lord—
            how they had seen him and talked with him.

Thomas:   Until I see His hands,
            feel the wounds of the nails,
            and put my hand to His side,
            I won’t believe what you are saying.

Narr:     Eight days later, they gathered again behind locked doors
            and Jesus reappeared.
            This time Thomas was with them.

Jesus:   May each one of you be at peace.

Narr:     He drew close to Thomas and said:

Jesus:   Reach out and touch Me.
            See the punctures in My hands;
            reach out your hand and put it to My side;
            leave behind your faithlessness and believe.

Thomas (filled with emotion): You are the one true God
                                               and Lord of my life.

Jesus:   Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me.
            Blessed are all those who never see Me
            and yet they still believe.

Narr:     Jesus performed many other wondrous signs
            that are not written in this book.
            The accounts are recorded so that you, too,
            might believe that Jesus, the Liberating King,
            is the Son of God,
            because believing grants you the life He came to share.

~ Scripture taken from The Voice™. Copyright ©2006, 2007, 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.