Jun 13, 2013

Readers' Theatre: Elijah is taken up into heaven

Here’s a readers’ theatre setting of 2 Kings 2: 1-2, 6-14, the suggested Old Testament reading for Proper 8, Year C.  It is set for three voices.

Readers’ Theatre
(2 Kings 2: 1-2, 6-14)

One:     When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind,
Elijah and Elisha were leaving Gilgal. 
Elijah said to Elisha,

Two:     Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to Bethel.

Three:   As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live,
I will never abandon you!

One:     So they went traveled down to Bethel together.
            And again, Elijah said to Elisha:

Two:     Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to the Jordan River.

Three:   As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live,
I will never abandon you.

One:     So the two men traveled to the Jordan River together.
            Fifty of the prophets’ disciples also went,
and watched from a distance
as Elijah and Elisha stopped beside the Jordan River. 
Elijah removed his cloak and rolled it up;
then he struck the water with it, and the water divided.
The river divided, and the two of them went across on dry ground!
When they reached the other side, Elijah spoke to Elisha:

Two:     Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away.

Three:   Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.
As your successor, I want to have twice the portion of your power.

Two:     You have asked a difficult thing.
If you see me when I am taken from you,
then you will get your request.
But if not, then you won’t.

One:     As they were walking along and talking,
something incredible happened!
A blazing chariot pulled by blazing horses stormed down from the heavens.
It drove right between them, separating them.
And Elijah was swept up into heaven by the fiery whirlwind.
Elisha saw it and cried out,

Three:   My father! My father!
I see the chariots and charioteers of Israel!

One:     And as they disappeared from sight, Elisha tore his clothes in distress.  
He picked up Elijah’s cloak,
which had fallen to the ground when he was taken up into heaven,
and then he went back to the Jordan riverbank.
He took the cloak, and struck with water with it, crying:

Three:   Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?

One:     And the Jordan River divided again,
just as it had when Elijah struck the waters.

And Elisha waked across on dry land.