Aug 6, 2011

Readers' Theatre: Matthew 15:10-28

Here is a readers’ theatre setting of Matthew 15:10-28, one of the suggested scripture readings for August 14, 2011 (Proper 15A). 

If you are only using the second half of this passage (where the woman comes to Jesus pleading for her daughter’s healing), begin after the asterisks (*).

Readers’ Theatre
(Matthew 15:10-28)

Narr:     Jesus called the crowd together and said to them:

Jesus:  Listen, and try to understand. 
            It is not what goes into your mouth
            that contaminates a person in God’s sight;
            rather, it’s what comes out of the mouth.

Narr:     The disciples went to Jesus and said:

Peter:   Do you realize that you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?

Jesus:  Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted,
            so ignore them.
            They are blind guides leading the blind,
            and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.

Peter:   Jesus, explain to us the parable that says
            people aren’t contaminated by what they eat.

Jesus:  Do you still not understand?
            Anything you eat passes through the stomach
            and then goes into the sewer.
            But the words you speak come from the heart—
            that’s what contaminates a person in God’s sight.
            For from the heart come evil thoughts—
murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, lying and slander.
            These are what contaminate you in God’s sight.
            Eating with unwashed hands will never contaminate you before God.

*           *           *           *           *           *

Narr:       Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
               A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading:

Woman:  Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David!
               My daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.

Narr:       But Jesus did not answer her.
              The disciples urged him to send her away.

Peter:      Tell her to go away.
               Her begging is beginning to bother us.

Narr:        But Jesus didn’t send her away. 
               Instead, he said to her:

Jesus:      I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.

Narr:        But the woman came to him again, and knelt before him, pleading:

Woman:   Lord, please help me.

Jesus:      It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.

Woman:  That’s true, Lord,
               but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps
               that fall beneath their masters’ table.

Jesus:     Woman, you have great faith.
               Your request is granted.

Narr:       And her daughter was instantly healed.

For more worship resources based on Matthew 15:10-28 or other suggested texts for August 14, 2011 (the ninth Sunday after Pentecost), click on Proper 15A in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.  For more readers’ theatre settings of scripture, click on readers’ theatre in the list of “Labels” at the right.