Aug 26, 2012

Readers' Theatre: Mark 7

Here’s a readers’ theatre setting of Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23, the suggested gospel reading for Proper 17 B (Ordinary 22 B) – the fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost.  It is set for three readers.

Readers’ Theatre: Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23

One:     One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law
            arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.
            They noticed that some of his disciples
            failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. 

Two:     The Jews, especially the Pharisees,
            do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands,
            as required by their ancient traditions.
            Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market
            until they immerse their hands in water.
            This is but one of many traditions they have clung to—
            such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.

One:     So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him,

Two:     Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition?
            They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.

Three:   You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you,
            for he wrote,
                        ‘These people honor me with their lips,
                        but their hearts are far from me.
                        Their worship is a farce,
                        for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’
            For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.
            You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition.
One:     Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear.

Three:   All of you listen, and try to understand.
            It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you;
            you are defiled by what comes from inside—from your heart.
            For from within, out of a person’s heart,
            come evil thoughts, sexual immorality,
            theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit,
            lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.
            All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.