Resources and reflections for worship planners and leaders
Jan 11, 2013
Readers' Theatre: Nehemiah 8
Here’s a readers’ theatre setting of the story in Nehemiah 8: 1-10. It is set for two voices.
One: On the first day of the seventh month,
after everyone had settled back in their towns,
the people came together in Jerusalem.
They met in the square in front of the water gate.
Two: The community included both men and women—
anyone who was able to understand was welcomed.
One: They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the book of the law,
the word that God had given through Moses to Israel.
Two: Ezra the priest did as they asked.
Standing above the people
on a wooden platform made for the occasion,
he opened the book of the law.
One: Everyone there stood up.
Two: Then Ezra called out and praised God.
And the people raised their hands to heavens
and called out in response:
One: “Amen! So may it be!”
Two: And they bowed down and worshiped God,
with their faces to the ground.
One: And Ezra began to read from the book of the law.
The document was massive,
and just reading excerpts of it ook him six or seven hours,
from daybreak until noon.
Two: As he read, the Levites explained the meaning of what was read,
helping the people understand each passage.
And the people began to weep.
One: But Nehemiah, Ezra, and all the ministering Levites
said to the people,
Two: Do not weep.
This day is sacred to the Lord your God.
It is not a day for mourning and weeping.
Go back to your homes and prepare a feast.
Bring out the best food and drink you have
and welcome all to your table,
especially those who have nothing.
This day is special.
It is sacred to our Lord.
Do not grieve over your past mistakes.
For the joy of Lord is your strength!
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Epiphany 3 C